Published: Sat, January 20, 2018
World | By Melba Underwood

Toronto man charged with murder in missing men case

Toronto man charged with murder in missing men case

"We believe he is responsible for the deaths of Mr. Esen and Mr. Kinsman, and we believe he is responsible for the deaths of other men who have yet to be identified", Idsinga said.

A man has been charged with two murders in Toronto's gay village and police said "we believe there are other victims".

McArthur lived in a high-rise apartment in Thorncliffe Park, a leafy neighbourhood about five kilometres - a 15- or 20-minute drive - northeast of Church and Wellesley.

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.

The bodies of Kinsman and Esen have yet to be found, but police have a "pretty good idea" of the cause of death, Det.

Both sisters say they don't know and had never heard of the man accused of killing Andrew Kinsman and Selim Esen, who also disappeared from the gay village a year ago.

Police charged McArthur with the first degree murders of Selim Esen, 43, and Andrew Kinsman, 49, both of whom disappeared past year.

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Members of the LGBTQ community were voicing concerns and pushing for answers a year ago in light of the disappearances of Esen and Kinsman, which were deemed suspicious. "We don't know what his exact relationship with Mr. Esen was leading up to the (alleged) murder, whether he had just met him that day or whether he had known him for some time".

But in December, police Chief Mark Saunders said there was no proof that that was the case. "Two gay men went missing and the circumstances around their disappearances were very suspect and so people were speculating about what had happened to these two guys", she said.

On Thursday, police said McArthur had been active on several dating apps, as were both missing men. He said that is what the evidence suggested to police at the time. He then started carrying a personal safety alarm after a missing woman, 22-year-old Tess Richey, was found dead in a nearby building, a case police have said is unrelated.

On Thursday, Saunders explained those words were "accurate at that time".

The arrest of a 66-year-old landscaper in the presumed deaths of two gay men, who disappeared from downtown Toronto last year, stunned many in the city's LGBT community when the news broke on Thursday.

Investigators seized four properties in Toronto and one in Madoc, Ont., about 220 kilometres away, in connection with the investigation. It's unclear how many men they suspect McArthur of murdering.

McArthur is expected to appear in court at College Park on Friday at 10 a.m.

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