Bruce McArthur faces eighth mur­der charge

Al­leged vic­tim from Sri Lanka

Cape Breton Post - - CANADA - BY PETER GOF­FIN AND MICHELLE MCQUIGGE

The com­plex in­ves­ti­ga­tion into al­leged se­rial killer Bruce McArthur took an­other twist on Mon­day as Toronto po­lice laid an eighth mur­der charge re­lated to the death of a man who bucked the pri­mary trend in the case.

Un­like McArthur’s other seven al­leged vic­tims, Toronto po­lice said 37-year-old Kirushna Ku­mar Kana­garat­nam is not be­lieved to have had ties to the city’s LGBTQ com­mu­nity or a down­town neigh­bour­hood known as the gay vil­lage.

Like most of the other men the self-em­ployed land­scaper is be­lieved to have slain, how­ever, Kana­garat­nam’s re­mains were re­cov­ered from planters at a cen­tral Toronto home where McArthur once worked.

Det. Sgt. Hank Idsinga said Kana­garat­nam’s death has po­ten­tial to ex­pand the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, which he has pre­vi­ously de­scribed as “un­prece­dented” in size and scope.

“This does cre­ate ba­si­cally a wide-open net,” Idsinga said at a news con­fer­ence. “We’ve had lots of in­ter­na­tional calls since our pleas be­gan from peo­ple who just haven’t seen fam­ily mem­bers in years.”

Idsinga re­vealed few other de­tails about Kana­garat­nam other than to say he ar­rived in Canada from Sri Lanka in 2010, lived in the east Toronto sub­urb of Scar­bor­ough, and was never for­mally re­ported miss­ing in Canada de­spite hav­ing dis­tant rel­a­tives in the Greater Toronto Area.

He said the man was iden­ti­fied through help from an un­named in­ter­na­tional agency as well as an un­usual pho­to­graph po­lice re­leased last month.

The heav­ily edited im­age show­ing a bearded man who ap­peared to be dead was shared with the pub­lic as a “last re­sort,” Idsinga said, adding it prompted hun­dreds of tips to pour in to po­lice.

Po­lice had been con­cen­trat­ing on 22 po­ten­tial iden­ti­fi­ca­tions last week, but Kana­garat­nam was not on the list, Idsinga said. He de­clined to say how the in­ter­na­tional agency con­trib­uted to the in­ves­ti­ga­tion or how Toronto po­lice came by the photo in the first place.

McArthur, 66, was ar­rested in Jan­uary and charged with the mur­ders of An­drew Kins­man and Selim Esen, who went miss­ing from Toronto’s gay vil­lage in 2017.

Later that month, he was charged with the first-de­gree mur­der of Ma­jeed Kay­han, Soroush Mah­mudi, and Dean Lisow­ick. In Fe­bru­ary, he was also charged in the death of Skan­daraj Navarat­nam.

The re­mains of all but Kay­han were found in planters at the home of one of McArthur’s land­scap­ing clients, Idsinga said, adding Kay­han’s re­mains have yet to be iden­ti­fied.

CP PHOTO

Kirushna Ku­mar Kana­garat­nam is pic­tured. Al­leged se­rial killer Bruce McArthur has been charged with an eighth count of first-de­gree mur­der. Po­lice have iden­ti­fied the al­leged vic­tim as Kana­garat­nam.

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