STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Frozen ground and potted plants may hold evidence of Toronto serial killer

As Toronto police combed through more than a dozen planters and worked to thaw frozen ground in their search for huma...

Posted: Feb 11, 2018 9:43 AM
Updated: Feb 11, 2018 9:43 AM

As Toronto police combed through more than a dozen planters and worked to thaw frozen ground in their search for human remains, investigators continued Friday to piece together what they believe is the puzzle of a serial killer and his victims.

The killer had some sort of relationship with each of his male victims, some of which were sexual, Toronto Police spokeswoman Meaghan Gray said Friday.

Bruce McArthur, a 66-year-old landscaper, has been charged with five counts of murder and accused of hiding his victims' remains in potted plants in Toronto.

"We do believe there are more (victims)," homicide detective Sgt. Hank Idsinga said last week. "And I have no idea how many more there are going to be."

So far, McArthur is accused of killing Andrew Kinsman, 49; Selim Esen, 44; Majeed Kayhan, 58; Dean Lisowick, 47; and Soroush Mahmudi, 50. But police have said more victims could be discovered soon.

Investigators found the remains of three victims in potted plants last week, and police said they had found at least three more remains on Friday. Of those six sets of remains, one has been identified as belonging to Kinsman. The five other remains are still unidentified.

Police said even though remains recovered so far have not been linked to the four men named as victims in addition to Kinsman, investigators have "sufficient evidence" to believe they were killed.

All of the remains found so far were located at one property where McArthur stored his landscaping equipment. The expanding investigation is now focusing on that property and one other location closely connected to McArthur.

Both locations will be excavated by investigators for evidence, but the excavation of one property has been partly held up by the frozen winter ground in Toronto, where it was 23 degrees Fahrenheit (minus-4 degrees Celsius) Friday afternoon. Toronto police said they have been heating the ground at that property for over a week to thaw it and allow for a fuller excavation.

In addition, police have seized a total of 15 planters from several properties that investigators say could contain more evidence or remains. McArthur is connected to up to 30 properties, and officials have asked more of his landscaping clients to come forward.

The grisly details and the number of victims led police to refer to McArthur as an alleged serial killer.

"The city of Toronto has never seen anything like this. The resources that are being thrown at it, everything that we have," Idsinga said. "I'd call it an unprecedented type of investigation."

CNN called McArthur's attorney on Thursday but did not get a response.

Impact on LGBTQ community

Police said both Esen and Kinsman were active on social media dating applications. Because the killings targeted members of Toronto's LGBTQ community, more than a dozen affiliated groups organized a community vigil on February 13 to grieve.

"This is of course a terrible tragedy, but not the first time the LGBTQ (community) has lost lives and members of the community have been missing," said Soofia Mahmood of the 519 Center, the center of the LGBTQ community in Toronto.

"The community has been victim to systemic abuse over the years, particularly people of color in our community. There is need to expect and demand accountability, from police and other groups who stereotype members of the community," Mahood said. "But now, there is a need for solidarity in the community. We need to come together to celebrate the community and heal together."

McArthur was first arrested on January 18 and charged with two counts of murder in connection with the deaths of Kinsman and Esen, two men who went missing last year. On January 29, McArthur was charged with three more counts of murder for the killings of three other missing men dating back to 2012.

Kayhan was reported missing in October 2012. Lisowick was never reported missing, but authorities believe he was murdered sometime between May 2016 and July 2017. Mahmudi was reported missing in August 2015.

Esen had no fixed address, and often had a small plastic suitcase on wheels, police said. He was reported missing in April last year.

And Kinsman was last seen in June 2017.

"I got a text from one of his housemates on June 28, saying no one had heard from him for a couple days," Ted Healy, a friend of Kinsman's, told CNN. Healy said he subsequently went into Kinsman's apartment to find a hungry cat but nothing else amiss. "The cat was out of food and water and was glad to see us," Healy said. "The apartment was untouched."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 55947

Reported Deaths: 1654
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin17789819
Ramsey6861261
Dakota3942102
Anoka3327112
Stearns281720
Washington188643
Nobles17456
Olmsted162023
Scott136214
Mower10782
Rice9898
Blue Earth8485
Wright8015
Carver7692
Clay74340
Kandiyohi6701
Sherburne6387
St. Louis42719
Todd4182
Lyon4153
Freeborn3541
Steele3271
Nicollet30713
Benton3043
Watonwan2980
Winona24516
Crow Wing20613
Martin2035
Le Sueur1991
Beltrami1910
Chisago1761
Goodhue1758
Otter Tail1753
Cottonwood1710
Pipestone1439
Becker1421
McLeod1350
Unassigned13540
Douglas1290
Itasca12912
Polk1293
Waseca1280
Pine1260
Carlton1240
Dodge1220
Murray1221
Isanti1080
Chippewa971
Brown832
Meeker832
Morrison831
Faribault820
Sibley782
Wabasha780
Koochiching733
Rock730
Jackson700
Pennington701
Mille Lacs643
Fillmore610
Cass582
Renville585
Lincoln540
Swift521
Grant491
Yellow Medicine490
Roseau450
Houston400
Pope390
Norman340
Redwood300
Aitkin280
Hubbard280
Kanabec281
Marshall280
Wilkin283
Mahnomen231
Wadena230
Big Stone220
Red Lake190
Lake170
Stevens150
Clearwater140
Traverse100
Lac qui Parle60
Kittson40
Cook20
Lake of the Woods10

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 45592

Reported Deaths: 877
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk9709202
Woodbury364250
Black Hawk299762
Linn208987
Johnson191815
Dallas178735
Buena Vista178412
Scott159012
Dubuque152729
Marshall138324
Pottawattamie121223
Story111013
Wapello84531
Muscatine82448
Crawford7153
Webster7125
Sioux5932
Cerro Gordo58117
Tama53729
Warren5261
Jasper45424
Plymouth4438
Wright4411
Louisa37814
Dickinson3754
Clinton3123
Washington28710
Hamilton2391
Boone2282
Franklin2134
Bremer1877
Clarke1853
Carroll1811
Emmet1791
Clay1711
Hardin1660
Shelby1591
Marion1520
Allamakee1494
Poweshiek1468
Benton1421
Des Moines1392
Jackson1391
Mahaska13617
Guthrie1265
Floyd1242
Jones1231
Cedar1201
Hancock1162
Butler1132
Pocahontas1131
Henry1123
Buchanan1101
Lyon1000
Madison1002
Cherokee971
Clayton973
Harrison960
Taylor930
Lee923
Delaware901
Monona900
Humboldt891
Iowa881
Winneshiek821
Calhoun812
Mills810
Sac810
Fayette790
Jefferson780
Palo Alto780
Kossuth770
Osceola770
Mitchell760
Page740
Winnebago730
Grundy721
Union701
Monroe667
Worth610
Chickasaw500
Davis491
Howard480
Cass471
Appanoose433
Lucas434
Montgomery433
Greene380
Fremont360
Van Buren311
Keokuk301
Ida290
Audubon281
Decatur210
Ringgold211
Adair200
Adams160
Wayne151
Unassigned70
Rochester
Clear
56° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 56°
Mason City
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 54°
Albert Lea
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 55°
Austin
55° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 55°
Charles City
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 55°
Some more rain in the forecast
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Sara's 6pm Forecast - Monday

Image

Was the summer sports season a success in Iowa?

Image

Primary Election voter registration

Image

Religious Leaders Ask For Mask Mandate

Image

Extra Hands Free Enforcement

Image

Mask Up Rochester

Image

Community adapting to changes at Rochester parks

Image

Fire-related fatalities increase in Minnesota

Image

Sean's Weather 8/3

Image

Campaign signs in Albert Lea

Community Events