On February 23, 2018, Toronto police announced that they charged alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur with a sixth count of first-degree murder. The latest victim was identified as Skandaraj Navaratnam, who was missing since 2010.
According to Detective-Sergeant Hank Idsinga of the Toronto police, officials have identified the remains of Skandaraj Navaratnam among those found at a Toronto home linked to alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur.
Navaratnam was formerly on a list of three missing men the police were looking into as part of Project Houston.
McArthur, a 66-year-old landscaper, was arrested on January 18, 2018 on two murder charges. Three more murder charges were added by the end of that month.
The other victims have been identified as Selim Esen, Majeed Kayhan, Andrew Kinsman, Dean Lisowick, and Soroush Mahmudi.
At the February 23 press conference, Idsinga confirmed that Mahmudi’s remains had been identified.
Since the arrest, Toronto police have been focusing their search on a property on Mallory Crescent in the Leaside community of Toronto. The home is owned by clients of McArthur, who allowed him to store tools and other items related to his business on their property in exchange for landscaping services.
On February 8, police announced they had discovered the remains of at least six victims at the property. The remains had been found in large planters allegedly left by McArthur on the grounds.
At that point, they had only identified the remains of one of the victims, Andrew Kinsman.
Related article: Remains of 3 More Victims of Alleged Serial Killer Bruce McArthur Found; Andrew Kinsman ID’d
Since then, investigators have been sifting through evidence and working to identify the remains of three other people.
“DNA analysis is still outstanding on the remaining three sets of remains,” Idsinga said.
Who Is Skandaraj Navaratnam?
Skandaraj Navaratnam, known as “Skanda” to those close to him, was 40 years old at the time of his disappearance. He was last seen on September 6, 2010, leaving a club in Toronto’s Gay Village.
According to Kevin Nash, a friend of Navaratnam, the victim began a romantic relationship with McArthur in the early 2000s. Nash said Navaratnam had also worked for McArthur’s landscaping business.
Idsinga could not confirm any link between McArthur and Navaratnam at the press conference.
Navaratnam’s family and friends have been waiting almost eight years for answers.
His brother Navaseelan Navaratnam told CBC via Facebook, “He was a very fun loving person and always with a smile and we miss him dearly.”
More Victims to Come?
According to Idsinga, it could take years for the investigation into Bruce McArthur’s alleged crimes to be completed. He said the police expect more victims to be found.
When asked how far back the murders could go and how many more victims there are, Idsinga said, “We have no idea.”
He said the investigators are looking as far back as possible to see if they can link outstanding occurrences to McArthur’s movements.
Idsinga confirmed that the investigative team is looking into cases of sudden death, hundreds of missing-persons cases, and multiple murder cases.
Police intend to go back to the Mallory Crescent property with a canine unit once warmer weather hits. In addition, there’s at least one other property where they may do some excavation.
Idsinga, when asked for the investigators’ reaction to the McArthur case, said, “It’s a very unique type of a case… I’m not going to say we’re used to seeing things like this… It’s very tiring, it’s very disturbing…”
Those who may have information about this case can call the Toronto police homicide squad 416-808-2021 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-8477.