A former Canadian landscaper and shopping mall Santa Claus who police are calling an “alleged serial killer” is now suspected of murdering at least six people in the Toronto area, as officers connected him Friday to newly-discovered remains belonging to a man who disappeared in 2010.
Toronto Detective Sgt. Hank Idsinga told reporters that authorities have now identified the remains of three of the six men found in planters at a property that Bruce McArthur used as storage for his landscaping business.
"The city of Toronto has never seen anything like this," Idsinga said in late January, following McArthur’s arrest on the 18th of that month. "It is unprecedented and draining. He's an alleged serial killer and he's taken some steps to cover his tracks."
The new murder charge announced Friday – joining five previous ones against McArthur -- involves 40-year-old Skanda Navaratnam, who vanished in 2010. Idsinga also said police have now identified remains belonging to Soroush Marmudi. The 50-year-old was reported missing by his family in 2015.
Selim Esen, 44, Majeed Kayhan, 58, Dean Lisowick, 47, and Andrew Kinsman, 49, who was the third set of remains on the property, are the other four men whose deaths McArthur has been linked to. Police say more charges could be filed.
"We still have properties that we are searching, that long client list of Mr. McArthur's that we are making our way through," Toronto police spokesman Meaghan Gray told the Associated Press last week.
Authorities have checked at least 30 other places the landscaper was known to have worked, including some of Toronto's wealthiest neighborhoods, and have collected at least 15 planters.
Police say they are thinking of excavating a second property in Toronto but have not yet made a decision on that.
Investigators say the 66-year-old McArthur is believed to have met his victims in Toronto's Gay Village and on gay dating apps for older and large men with names such as "SilverDaddies" and "Bear411." Edward Royle, a lawyer for McArthur, has declined comment on the case and McArthur has yet to enter a plea.
Police said they will eventually look at hundreds of missing person cases and try to determine if they were victims of McArthur. They are also running down tips that have come in from around the world.
In addition to working as a self-employed landscaper, McArthur allegedly also worked as a Santa Claus at the Agincourt Mall in Toronto, the Global News reported.
McArthur appears to have run into money problems in the past as he declared bankruptcy in 1999, according to the CBC.
He also was handed a two-year conditional sentence for assault in 2003 after attacking a man with a metal pipe in Toronto in 2001, the CBC reported.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.