Alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur is now facing a 6th charge of first-degree murder, this time in the death of Skandaraj Navaratnam, whose remains were found in a planter seized from a property linked to the landscaper.
McArthur was previously charged with five counts of first-degree murder in the cases of Andrew Kinsman, 49, Selim Esen, 44, Majeed Kayhan, 58, Dean Lisowick, 47, and Mahmudi.
Det.-Sgt. Hank Idsinga announced the latest charge at a news conference Friday.
Shortly after the news conference, McArthur appeared in a Toronto court via video link. He will return to court on Feb. 28.
The 40-year-old Navaratnam was known to friends as Skanda. He was last seen leaving a Toronto nightclub on Sept. 6, 2010. A friend reported him missing 10 days later. Navaratnam was later one of three men included in a Toronto police task force called Project Houston, which looked at the disappearances of men from the area around the city’s Gay Village between 2010 and 2012.
Idsinga said Navaratnam’s remains were found in one of the planters police recovered from a midtown Toronto home on Mallory Crescent that’s been a focus of their investigation into McArthur.
Idsinga also said another set of remains found in a planter from the property has been identified: those of Soroush Mahmudi, 50. McArthur is already charged in Mahmudi’s death.
Police recovered the remains of at least six people, including those of Kinsman, hidden in several large planters at the Mallory Crescent residence where McArthur stored equipment for 10 years in exchange for landscaping work.
The remains of three other people have not yet been identified. Idsinga said Friday that there are a handful of ways to identify remains, each of which takes a different amount of time. He said that Fingerprints and dental records are relatively quick methods. A DNA analysis can take much longer, in some cases months, he said.