Det.-Sgt. Hank Idsinga addressing media questions beside an image and sketch of the unidentified man.

McArthur faces seventh murder charge

Police now investigating 15 cold cases, 75 properties

Police charged alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur with a seventh count of first-degree murder on April 11.

The latest charge relates to the death of 42-year-old Abdulbasir Faizi, who went missing  in late 2010.

In a news conference at police headquarters, Det.-Sgt. Hank Idsinga revealed that pathologists identified Faizi, Dean Lisowick, 47,  and Selim Essen, 44, in the human remains retrieved from from planters at 53 Mallory Cres.

Previously police had identified three of the seven sets of human remains recovered from the Leaside property where McArthur, a landscaper, stored his supplies. There is still at least one set of remains to be identified.

Investigation deepens

Until Wednesday, police were eyeing 30 properties potentially linked to the case, but are now using their K-9 unit for up to 75 properties, some of which are public, Idsinga said.

Detectives are also revisiting 15 cold case files between 1975 and 1997 potentially connected to McArthur, though the number of cases may “increase or decrease,” he said.

“We’ve — quite frankly — never seen anything like it,” Idsinga said about the alleged serial killer case. “We really don’t know how deep this will go.”

We really don’t know how deep this will go.

—Det.-Sgt. Hank Idsinga

Forensic units have been searching McArthur’s apartment at 95 Thorncliffe Park Dr., and Idsinga says they may continue to do so for weeks.

“It’s easily set the record for a forensic examination of an apartment. They are literally going through that apartment inch by inch,” he said. “We have quite a few exhibits out of that apartment.”

But that isn’t the only thing on law enforcement’s radar.

Investigators are also still trying to identify a man who may be linked to the case. At the press conference they released an enhanced version of the previously released photo and a composite sketch. They are combing through 22 potential identities after police received more than 500 tips.

Idsinga says 20 people are dedicated to the investigation.

Though many things in the case have developed, the target in the series of killings remains the same: gay men and men who frequented the gay village.

Abdulbasir Faizi

Idsinga says police believe Faizi knew McArthur before his death.

Faizi disappeared in the Church and Wellesley area and police recovered his car at Moore Avenue, north of the gay village.

Police believe Faizi died on or close to Dec. 29, 2010. He lived in Brampton with his wife, two daughters and his dog.

Faizi and two others were the focus of Project Houston, a police task force created in 2012 to investigate the missing men.

McArthur is scheduled to appear in court next on April 25.