Toronto police to update investigation of accused serial killer

Bruce McArthur 66 was charged with first-degree murder in the case of two missing men on Jan. 18 2017. HANDOUT  Facebook

In addition, police took the extraordinary step of releasing a photo of a bearded man who they believe is a deceased victim of the alleged serial killer, and they asked the public for help in identifying the John Doe.

Police have so far identified three sets of remains they found in large planters at a home where McArthur did gardening work and rented storage space - those of Andrew Kinsman, 49, Soroush Mahmudi, 50, and Skandaraj Navaratnam, 40. It's unknown whether the remains belonged to the man in the photo.

Idsinga clarified that authorities are unsure if the unidentified man is related to the found remains.

Bruce McArthur, 66, was arrested in January following an investigation into the disappearances of two men from a predominantly gay neighbourhood in downtown Toronto previous year, which led police to the planters at a property that he used for storage.

Bruce McArthur, a 66-year-old freelance landscaper who was accused by Toronto police January 29, 2018 of murdering five people and putting their dead bodies in large planters on his clients' properties, appears in a photo posted on his social media account.

'I've never done this before, ' he said about releasing the photo.

Most popular: Who Is Bruce McArthur?

"I do not want to release this picture and I'm doing so as a last resort", he said.

Michael Pollanen, Ontario's chief forensic pathologist, called the McArthur case a "unique investigation in the history of our organization", and pointed to a number of challenges that have impeded progress.

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Police began combing through the sites where the self-employed landscaper had worked, eventually finding the dismembered remains of seven people in planters on a property in the north-east part of the city.

Police said they were investigating the possibility of even more victims in the case.

Police are looking at unsolved missing person cases to determine if there are connections to McArthur and are running down tips that have come in from around the world.

McArthur, who once worked as a mall Santa Claus, has pleaded not guilty to the six counts of murder and is due back in court on March 14. His lawyer did not respond to a request for comment on Monday.

He is at present charged with killing six men body and disposing of their bodes in planters used in his landscaping business.

Police said there was still much more to do.

Paul Ciantar, 54, told CNN last month that he had seen McArthur around Toronto's Gay Village.

Police said 50-year-old Mahmudi was reported missing in 2015 by his family in Scarborough and Kayhan went missing from the Church-Wellesley neighbourhood in 2012.

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