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Published: Wednesday, March 07, 2018 @ 3:33 PM
TORONTO — Toronto police investigators on Monday released a gruesome image of a dead man they believe was a victim of accused serial killer Bruce McArthur, calling the release a last-resort effort to identify the man.
They also revealed that they have discovered dismembered remains of a seventh victim in the case. The body parts, like those of six other men, were found hidden in large potted plants confiscated from a home where McArthur, 66, stored his landscaping equipment.
Detective Sgt. Hank Idsinga, the lead investigator on the McArthur case, said during a news conference Monday that he did not want to release the image, which he acknowledged that some viewers would find disturbing.
“The release of evidence by the Toronto Police Service has to strike a balance between the public interest and the fair court process due to Mr. McArthur,” Idsinga said. “We solve many crimes through the release of evidence to the media.”
Idsinga said that thus far, the police agency’s investigative techniques have been unsuccessful in identifying the dead man. He urged those who saw or shared the image to be considerate toward those who might know the victim.
“I would ask the media to be mindful that by broadcasting this picture, a family member or friend, not realizing that their loved one is deceased, may come to that realization from the moment they come to view the picture,” Idsinga said.
The photo, unveiled to silence from reporters, shows a bearded, dark-skinned man in a gray T-shirt, his eyes and mouth partially open. He appears to fit the physical profile of several of McArthur’s suspected victims.
Idsinga refused to say how investigators came to possess the photo, which was digitally cleaned up to make it presentable to the public. The Toronto Star reported, however, that sources said detectives uncovered “reams of evidence” in the case, including images linked to McArthur.
Mark Valois, a former Toronto homicide detective, told the Star that the photo, if obtained from McArthur, could potentially be a “trophy” kept by the suspected serial killer to relive the crime.
“It wouldn’t surprise me,” Valois told the newspaper. “There very well could be photographs of some victims.”
The Star also reported that photos like the one released Monday could help explain how investigators have been able to name six alleged McArthur victims, even though not all the remains found in the case have been positively identified.
Of the six men McArthur, who was arrested Jan. 18, is charged with killing, only remains of Andrew Kinsman, 49, Soroush Mahmudi, 50, and Skandaraj Navaratnam, 40, have been positively identified. Kinsman, a former boyfriend of McArthur’s, was identified through fingerprints.
Mahmudi and Navaratnam, who also reportedly dated McArthur before his 2010 disappearance, were identified through dental records.
McArthur is also charged with killing Majeed Kayhan, 58, Selim Esen, 44, and Dean Lisowick, 47, though it is not yet known if they are among the victims discovered dismembered and buried in planters.
Police confiscated planters from more than 30 properties where McArthur had done landscaping work, though remains have only been found in the planters kept at the Mallory Crescent home where he stored his equipment. The homeowners allowed McArthur to keep his equipment on their property in exchange for the upkeep of their own lawn.
Idsinga told CTV News last month that McArthur’s Thorncliffe Park apartment is also considered a crime scene. Investigators believe some of the victims were killed there.
A man was found alive and tied to McArthur’s bed in that apartment at the time of his Jan. 18 arrest, police said. Officers who had McArthur under surveillance in the disappearances of multiple men saw the man go into his apartment with McArthur and, believing him to be in danger, forced their way inside.
The man was not harmed.
Navaratnam and Kayhan were two of three men who went missing from Toronto’s Church-Wellesley Village area, a predominantly gay downtown neighborhood that is also known as Gay Village. A third man, Abdulbasir Faizi, has not been named a victim of the suspected serial killer, though his abandoned car was found a short distance from McArthur’s home.
Idsinga reiterated during the news conference that the charges involving specific victims do not necessarily correspond to the remains found. He declined to give details of the evidence that led to each murder charge.
The seventh set of remains has not been connected to the man in the photo, Idsinga said. He pointed out that the remains found thus far were in varying states of decomposition.
“Doctors from Ontario Forensic Pathology Services have been doing some very difficult and time-consuming work in attempting to reconstruct these remains and identify them,” Idsinga said. “(The doctors) have been working tirelessly for weeks to put this very crucial part of the case together.”
Tests are ongoing in attempts to identify the rest of the remains, he said.
Reporters asked how unusual it was for detectives to release a photo of a victim’s body during an investigation.
Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 12:07 PM
Updated: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 12:07 PM
EAST PITTSBURGH, Pa. — A 17-year-old was shot and killed by police in East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday night after he allegedly ran away from a traffic stop on foot, authorities said.
Police have not officially identified the teenager, but community sources told WPXI he is Antwon Rose. He attended Woodland Hills High School last year.
According to the Allegheny County Police Department, Rose got out of a vehicle that matched the description of a vehicle seen near a shooting that occurred shortly before 8:30 a.m. on Kirkpatrick Avenue in North Braddock.
The vehicle, which police said had damage from bullets to the back window, was stopped near Grandview Avenue and Howard Street.
Police processing suspects gray car along Grandview Ave in East Pittsburgh. County investigators believe this car was involved in a separate shooting in N Braddock where man was wounded. Suspects fled. 1 suspect shot, another in custody and police still searching for the third. pic.twitter.com/xz1AuURF78— Mike Holden (@WPXIMikeHolden) June 20, 2018
An officer from the East Pittsburgh Police Department was handcuffing the driver when two males ran from the car, police said. One of those males was Rose, according to officials.
Rose was taken to McKeesport Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The Allegheny County Police Department is asking the other person who ran away from the vehicle to turn himself in "so that he can give a comprehensive description of what occurred."
The victim in the North Braddock shooting, a 22-year-old man, was treated for his injuries and released from an area trauma center.
Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 12:10 PM
GREENVILLE, S.C. — Michael Vines has a gun tattooed on his forehead, but that’s not the weapon that put him behind bars in South Carolina.
Police in Greenville reported Tuesday that Vines was involved in a recent car crash, after which city firefighters said they saw him toss a weapon into the grass nearby. The firefighters reported it to police officers, who recovered the gun, described as a fully loaded Smith & Wesson .38-caliber revolver.
Vines, whose mugshot shows a tattoo of a handgun in the middle of his forehead, is federally prohibited from having a gun, police officials said. He was charged with unlawful carrying of a firearm, as well as driving under a suspended license and speeding.
“The real weapon was placed in property and evidence,” police officials said on the department’s Facebook page.
The department’s social media followers couldn’t resist a few jokes at Vines’ expense. One man asked if someone “held a gun to his head” to make him get the tattoo.
Another man offered this hypothetical exchange:
“COP: ‘Sir, do you have any guns on you?’
THIS GUY: ‘No.’
COP: ‘Are you sure?’
THIS GUY: ‘Absolutely. No way.’
COP: ‘Are you suuuuuuuurrrrreeeee?’ (Taps him on the forehead.)”
“Remorse written all over his forehead,” a commenter said. “No, wait. Nope, that’s a gun. My bad.”
Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 12:56 PM
Updated: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 12:56 PM
— President Donald Trump told reporters Wednesday that he will “be signing something in a little while” to address family separations at the U.S.-Mexico border.
“We want to keep families together, it’s very important,” Trump said. "I’ll be doing something that’s somewhat preemptive and ultimately will be matched by legislation I’m sure.”
Trump to WH pool: “I’ll be signing something in a little while that’s going to do that. I’ll be doing something that’s somewhat preemptive and ultimately will be matched by legislation I’m sure.”— Jacqueline Alemany (@JaxAlemany) June 20, 2018
It was not immediately clear what the president planned to sign. Trump has repeatedly called on Congress to change laws that he says mandates the family separations. There is no law that requires children be separated from parents at the border.
He blamed Democrats for the continued separations in a Wednesday morning tweet, but he added that he was “working on something.”
It’s the Democrats fault, they won’t give us the votes needed to pass good immigration legislation. They want open borders, which breeds horrible crime. Republicans want security. But I am working on something - it never ends!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 20, 2018
The Associated Press reported Wednesday that Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was drafting an executive action for Trump that would allow the Department of Homeland Security to keep migrant families together at the border.
BREAKING: AP Sources: Homeland Security secretary drafting order to end family separation at border; unclear if Trump will sign it.— The Associated Press (@AP) June 20, 2018
Nielsen does not believe Congress will act to resolve the issue of migrant family separations, the AP reported, citing two unidentified sources familiar with the matter. She’s working with officials from other agencies, including the Justice Department and the Department of Health and Human Services, to draft the executive action.
The Trump administration in April directed prosecutors to pursue cases against all people suspected of crossing the border illegally as part of a “zero tolerance” immigration enforcement policy. Parents have been separated from their children as they face prosecution.
Nearly 2,000 children were separated from their families over a six-week period in April and May, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
The executive action Nielson is drafting “wouldn’t end the zero tolerance policy, but would aim to keep families together and ask the Department of Defense to help house the detained families,” according to the AP.
Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 8:29 AM
OCALA, Fla. — Residents in southern Marion, northern Lake or west Volusia counties should not be alarmed if they hear loud booms near their neighborhoods.
The US Navy began bomb training exercises this week at the Pine Castle Range Complex in the Ocala National Forest, officials said in a news release.
F-18 jets fly from Naval Air Station in Jacksonville and conduct the training.
Residents nearby might hear the training or feel the vibrations.
The exercises began Monday and continue Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Thursday 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. to 6:45 p.m., officials said.
Officials said wildlife might be temporarily displaced and that drivers should use caution when driving through the Ocala National Forest and surrounding areas.
The telephone number for noise complaints is 1-800-874-5059.