In this artist’s sketch, alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur makes an appearance via video in a Toronto courtroom, Wednesday, April 11, 2018. From left, lawyer Samantha Saunders, part of McArthur’s defence team, McArthur, Justice Wendy Agnew and Crown Michael Cantlon are shown. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alexandra Newbould

Alleged Toronto serial killer charged with 8th count of first-degree murder

Bruce McArthur is now facing eight first-degree murder charges related to men who have gone missing from Toronto’s gay village

Toronto police laid a new murder charge against alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur on Monday, but said the latest suspected victim does not fit the profile of the other seven men he’s believed to have slain.

Det. Sgt. Hank Idsinga said the self-employed landscaper was charged in the death of 37-year-old Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam, who moved to Canada from Sri Lanka in 2010 and was never reported missing.

Kanagaratnam’s remains were recovered from planters at a central Toronto home, Idsinga said.

McArthur, 66, is accused of killing seven other men, all of whom have ties to a downtown neighbourhood known as the gay village, but police said Kanagaratnam’s death does not fit into the previously established pattern.

“He was not on file as missing and we have no prior evidence that would link him to the gay village,” Idsinga said at a news conference.

Idsinga said Kanagaratnam, who was identified with the help of an unnamed international agency, was allegedly killed between September and December 2015.

Last month, police released a heavily edited photograph of a bearded man who appeared to be dead, asking the public to help identify him.

Idsinga said that Kanagaratnam was the man in the photo, but he declined to say how police came by the image.

McArthur 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 murders of Majeed Kayhan, Soroush Mahmudi, and Dean Lisowick. And in February, he was charged in the death of Skandaraj Navaratnam.

Last week, McArthur was charged in the death of 42-year-old Abdulbasir Faizi, who disappeared from the gay village in 2010.

Related: Seventh murder charge laid against alleged Toronto serial killer

Related: Seventh set of remains linked to alleged Toronto serial killer Bruce McArthur

Related: Alleged Toronto serial killer previously questioned, released by police

The sprawling police investigation, which Idsinga has previously described as unprecedented in size and scope, is now also scrutinizing 15 unsolved homicides that took place between 1975 and 1997.

Those cold cases fit the general profile of the first seven alleged victims, Idsinga said, but acknowledged that police will be casting a “wide open net.”

Police say they plan to investigate at least 70 more properties where McArthur is believed to have worked starting next month, and also remain on the scene of McArthur’s east-Toronto apartment.

Peter Goffin and Michelle McQuigge , The Canadian Press

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