Bruce McArthur charged with 1st-degree murder of Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam

Alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur was charged Monday in the death of Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam, bringing to eight the total number of first-degree murder counts he faces.

Police say latest alleged victim moved to Canada from Sri Lanka, was never reported missing

Toronto police say Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam was never reported missing, but they believe he was killed in 2015. Alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with his death, and seven others. (Facebook)

Alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur was charged Monday in the death of Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam, bringing to eight the total number of first-degree murder counts he faces.

McArthur, 66, made a short court appearance by video link to hear the latest charge.

Det.-Sgt. Hank Idsinga, the lead investigator, said Kanagaratnam's remains were found in a garden planter at a home on Mallory Crescent, in northeast Toronto, where McArthur worked as a landscaper. 

The remains of at least seven men have been found on the property, and Idsinga said police will continue to search other sites once the ground thaws.

Bruce McArthur has made two court appearances over the last seven days by video link. He remains in custody at the Toronto South Detention Centre. (Pam Davies)

Police identified Kanagaratnam, 37, from a photograph. The force took the rare step of releasing an image of Kanagaratnam, deceased, to figure out who he was. A police source previously told CBC Toronto that image came from a cache of images found on McArthur's computer.

Police announced last week that they had identified the man, and Idsinga said they spent the weekend working to contact family members, many of whom don't live in the country.

"While we are saddened, we are proud and relieved to be able to bring closure to the friends and family of the victim," Idsinga said.

He said it's unclear how Kanagaratnam came into contact with McArthur.

Kanagaratnam moved to Canada from Sri Lanka in 2010 and lived in Scarborough, in suburban Toronto, before his death. Police believe he was killed between Sept. 3 and Dec. 14 in 2015, Idsinga told a morning news conference, but he was never reported missing.

"Obviously there's a breakdown," Idsinga said. He also said the police force will be looking into why Kanagaratnam wasn't on a list of missing persons.

Idsinga said there is no evidence linking Kanagaratnam to the Gay Village, which several victims had ties to.​

McArthur is now accused of killing these eight men. Top row, from left to right, Skandaraj Navaratnam, 40, Andrew Kinsman, 49, Selim Esen, 44, and Abdulbasir Faizi, 44. Bottom row, from left to right: Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam, 37, Dean Lisowick, 47, Soroush Mahmudi, 50, and Majeed Kayhan, 58. (Toronto Police Service/CBC)

Cause of death of 8 not yet determined 

McArthur had already been charged in connection with the disappearances of seven other men. 

The others are: Selim Esen, 44, Abdulbasir Faizi, 44, Majeed Kayhan, 58, Andrew Kinsman, 49, Dean Lisowick, 47, Soroush Mahmudi, 50, and Skandaraj Navaratnam, 40. None of the charges against McArthur have been tested in court.

While Idsinga has an idea of how at least some of McArthur's alleged victims were killed, he said investigators have been unable to definitively determine the cause of death in each case. 

Police have used fingerprints, DNA and dental records to identify the dismembered remains, Idsinga said.

When asked if there could be more victims — especially because Kanagaratnam doesn't appear to fit the profile of McArthur's other alleged targets —  Idsinga said he has "no evidence" to link McArthur to any death prior to Navaratnam's.

However, police continue to look over a number of cold cases and are asking anyone with information about the investigation to contact them.

McArthur remains in custody at the Toronto South Detention Centre in Etobicoke, in suburban Toronto.

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