Police have identified the remains of more men suspected to have been murdered by alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur as they expand their investigation more than four decades into the past.
On Wednesday, lead investigator Det. Hank Idsinga released a photograph of an unidentified man that he believes is a victim of Bruce McArthur.
On Wednesday, that man remained unidentified.
"They do feel a sense of closure that now all three men have been accounted for", he said.
It relates to Abdulbasir Faizi, who went missing in December 2010 and would have been 42 at the time of his disappearance.
McArthur, 66, now faces charges for the murders of Faizi, Andrew Kinsman, Selim Esen, Soroush Mahmudi, Dean Lisowick, Majeed Kayhan and Skanda Navaratnam. Bruce McArthur is now accused of killing these seven men.
McArthur was also charged in the death of Skandaraj Navaratnam in February. Bottom row, from left to right: Dean Lisowick, 47, Soroush Mahmudi, 50, and Majeed Kayhan, 58.
Detective Idsinga says police are now re-examining 15 cold cases dating back as far as 1975. There is no evidence, Idsinga said, that can directly link McArthur to any of these cases.
While police could lay a charge without a name, Idsinga said that they would like to find out his identity before they do that and fully confirm that he's deceased.
Faizi, a Mississauga, Ont., factory worker, was last seen at the Steamworks Bathhouse in the heart of the Gay Village.
During Wednesday's briefing, Idsinga said they have received more than 500 tips with more than 70 possible identities for the man in the photo. Investigators have now released an enhanced version of the photo to help zero in on the man's identity made available with the help of community activist Nicki Ward. In addition to the cold cases, police have also increased the number of properties on their list to search from 30 to 75.
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According to local media, police made a quick decision to enter McArthur's apartment and arrest him on January 18 when they saw a young man enter his home.
Forensic teams are still in the process of collecting evidence from McArthur's apartment in the city's Thorncliffe Park neighbourhood.
"They're really not surprised at the end of it", he said. "Floors, ceilings, walls dresser drawers, literally inch by inch", the lead investigator said, turning up a long list of exhibits that will be forensically tested.
"We've quite frankly never seen anything like it", Idsinga said.
Faizi's remains were identified among the dismembered body parts found hidden inside some 20 planters belonging to the accused. The Wednesday's charge brings the total to seven, but police do not rule out more charges as investigation progresses.
"They are in various stages of decomposition and doctors from the Ontario Forensic Pathology Service have been doing some very hard and time-consuming work in attempting to reconstruct these remains and identify them", he said. One set remains to be identified. Detectives found the man, unharmed, but tied up on a bed.
The remains of several men who went missing from downtown Toronto's Gay Village have previously been identified in the planters, located on a midtown property used by McArthur to store his landscaping supplies.
Many of McArthur's alleged victims were the subject of two previous police probes into the disappearances of men from the city's gay village.
Police were scheduled to later brief reporters on updates in their investigation. That's due in part to the weather - freezing temperatures have made it hard for investigators to properly search for clues.
"I'd like to get a timeframe and establish that he is in fact deceased" before laying an additional murder charge, he said.
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. "I've said that from day one".
"Our biggest problem is information on missing people". We may discover that 2010 was the first murder.