Canadian police have identified the remains of a Sri Lankan man they believe is a possible victim of suspected serial killer Bruce McArthur.
Mr McArthur, 66, was charged on Monday with an eighth count of first degree murder in the death of Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam, 37.
Police believe Kanagaratnam was killed sometime between 3 September and 14 December 2015.
He arrived in Canada in 2010 and lived in the Toronto area.
In March, police released the photograph of an unidentified deceased man as part of the investigation into the accused killer in the hopes a member of the public could help in his identification.
Police said they received hundreds of tips, and announced late last week they had made a successful identification.
Toronto police detective Hank Idsinga said on Monday that Kanagaratnam’s direct family, who live in Sri Lanka, were informed over the weekend of his death.
The detective did not reveal Kanagaratnam’s immigration status and said he had never been reported missing in Canada.
His remains were identified as one of at least seven dismembered bodies found in plant pots on a midtown Toronto property linked to Mr McArthur.
Who are the alleged victims?
So far, all of the eight suspected victims except Kanagaratnam had ties to the city’s Gay Village.
All went missing between 2010-17.
Many were immigrants from South Asia or the Middle East.
Members of Toronto’s LGBT community have criticised police, saying they did not take their concerns about the missing men seriously.
The first two alleged victims were identified in January as Andrew Kinsman, 49, and Selim Esen, 44, who both went missing in 2017.
Since then, police have named Skandaraj Navaratnam, 40, who disappeared on Labour Day weekend in 2010; Soroush Mahmudi, 50, reported missing in 2015; Dean Lisowick, 47, who is believed to have been killed in April 2016; Abdulbasir Faizi, 42, who disappeared in 2010; and Majeed Kayhan, 58, who disappeared in 2012.
The remains of all but Kayhan have been identified.
Police arrested Mr McArthur on 18 January. He had been under surveillance, but police have yet to reveal the exact evidence and circumstances that lead to his arrest.
The news came weeks after police tried to calm community concerns – following a handful of disappearances in the village over a number of years – that there was a serial killer stalking the neighbourhood.
A massive investigation that spans Canada’s largest city has since been launched, and police are looking at missing persons cases dating back decades.
Investigators are also reviewing 15 homicide cold cases from 1975 to 1997 as part of the inquiry into the suspected killer.
In May, investigators will begin searching up to 75 Toronto properties linked to the self-employed landscaper.
Police are also working with law enforcement agencies in other jurisdictions, and are in contact with international agencies as part of the investigation.
Source: BBC – Agencies