Toronto gay village murders suspect could be linked to other deaths

Salmaan Farooqui

McArthur is a landscaper with Artistic Design who lives in the Thorncliffe Park area.

"In policing, what we do is we follow the evidence and what I said at the time ... was accurate at that time", Chief Mark Saunders told reporters at Thursday's news conference.

Idsinga added that at this point, police are busy trying to identify McArthur's other possible victims.

Idsinga said the bodies of Esen and Kinsman have yet to be found, but that police have a "pretty good idea" what their cause of death was.

The arrest came as a result of Project Prism - an investigation into the disappearance of Esen, 44, last April from near Bloor and Yonge Sts., and Andrew Kinsman, 49, from Parliament and Winchester Sts.in June.

The initial reports of both men's disappearances prompted a great deal of concern from residents of Church-Wellesley Village.

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The Toronto gay village community began investigating the disappearances of gay men from the area last year after the July 11, 2017 disappearance of 48-year-old Raymond Brunett.

Police are also searching five properties belonging to McArthur - four in Toronto and one in Madoc, Idsinga said. He has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder in connection with the disappearances of Kinsman and Esen.

Bruce McArthur, a landscaper, was arrested by officers mid-morning Thursday, Det. Hank Idsinga of the homicide squad. "Clearly there is some information that is leading them to believe that there are more victims out there, or they wouldn't have said that".

Both disappearances prompted community-led search parties in both the Church-Wellsley Village and Cabbagetown. In December 2017, police suggested that some of the missing men may have used dating apps as well, and issued a warning to people using apps to take extra precautions. He said that for investigative reasons no picture of the accused was being released at present. The two men disappeared within 45 days from each other from the downtown area.

Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders will be announcing an arrest Thursday in relation to Project Prism, an investigation into two gay men who've gone missing from near the Church and Wellesley neighbourhood in the past year.

Saunders thanked members of the Church and Wellesley community for their help in the case.

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