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Toronto Police say he's a serial killer who buried his victims' remains in potted plants

Posted at 5:12 PM, Jan 30, 2018

Toronto police have arrested a landscaper who they say killed men and buried their body parts in potted plants on the properties where he worked.

Bruce McArthur, 66, is charged with five murders. Authorities expect the number of victims to go up.

"We do believe there are more and I have no idea how many more there are going to be," homicide detective Sgt. Hank Idsinga told reporters Monday.

Police have identified more than 30 properties where McArthur worked and urged his past clients to come forward.

Initially, investigators thought the victims were all from the Gay Village, a neighborhood in Toronto known for its predominantly gay population. But new evidence is expanding the victim profile, Idsinga said.

"The last two victims don't quite fit the profile of the earlier victims. It encompasses more than just the gay community," he said.

"It encompasses the city of Toronto."

The Ministry of the Attorney General said McArthur's lawyer is Jeffery Couse. When CNN reached Couse, he declined to comment.

'An unprecedented' investigation

Police have characterized McArthur as a serial killer.

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

McArthur was first charged earlier this month in two murders. They were in connection with the death of two men who went missing last year.

On Monday, police added three first-degree murder charges in connection with missing persons cases that dated as far back as 2012.

Gary Speedie was a former coworker of McArthur. The two met while doing landscape work for a mutual friend.

"He was always opinionated," Speedie told CNN. "Never got any warm, friendly vibes from him. He seemed moody. Usually fairly happy, but sometimes quiet."

Speedie said he hadn't seen McArthur in several years.

"We did go to his apartment that he shared with his ex-partner for dinner once about 12 years ago. He came to our place for Christmas gatherings around the same time," he said.

The victims

Through physical remains, Toronto police have now identified the five victims as:

  • Majeed Kayhan, 58
  • Dean Lisowick, 47
  • Soroush Mahmudi, 50
  • Selim Esen, 44
  • Andrew Kinsman, 49

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.

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. "We went into the apartment on Wednesday night. The cat was out of food and water and was glad to see us. The apartment was untouched."

"He was always the smartest guy in the room. And wasn't boastful about that. If he was your friend he was loyal and kind and generous. I miss him very much." Healy said.

McArthur is due in Toronto provincial criminal court on February 14.