A man was arrested Thursday morning and charged with two counts of first-degree murder in connection with the deaths of two men in the Church-Wellesley area, near Ryerson’s campus.
Bruce McArthur, 66, is charged in the deaths of Andrew Kinsman, 49, and Selim Esen, 44. Kinsman went missing on June 26 , 2017 near Parliament and Winchester, and Esen went missing on April 14, 2017 near Bloor and Yonge.
In a press conference Thursday afternoon, homicide detective Hank Idsinga announced the arrest and said, “We have not yet found the bodies.” He also said, “We believe there are other victims.”
The announcement comes after many months of investigation and worry in the gay community. Police established a special task force specifically to investigate this case, with Toronto police chief Mark Saunders himself opening the press conference.
Police said significant progress was made in the investigation on Wednesday evening. McArthur was arrested the next day at 10:25 a.m. on Jan. 18, 2018. “We’ve known about [McArthur] and have been investigating him for several months now. But we weren’t able to make that definitive link until yesterday,” Idsinga said.
Police also secured five properties connected to McArthur for further investigation. They believe he is also responsible for the deaths of other unidentified victims. “We’re actively looking for [the bodies],” said Idsinga.
However, police say that they currently have strong enough evidence to prosecute McArthur, even without the victims’ bodies. “We are aware of the other missing men from the village and we’re trying to identify whether they [may have] become victim to [McArthur] as well,” Idsinga said.
According to police, McArthur, Kinsman, and Esen were all on the same dating apps and were frequently in the gay village. Idsinga confirmed that McArthur had a sexual relationship with Kinsman, but police are unsure of his relationship with Esen.
Saunders ended the press conference saying that this investigation has concluded with the arrest of McArthur. However, efforts continue in locating the victims’ bodies and potentially connecting McArthur with three other male disappearances in the gay village.