Toronto police have charged alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur with the murder of Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam, a 37-year-old Sri Lankan immigrant.
McArthur is now charged with eight counts of first-degree murder.
Kanagaratnam’s remains were identified from within planters at a Leaside property in midtown Toronto where McArthur stored landscaping equipment.
Kanagaratnam came to Canada in 2010 and lived in Scarborough. He had not been reported missing to any Canadian authorities, but in December 2017, a man who said he was his brother circulated a Facebook post stating that Kanagaratnam hadn’t been in contact with his family in Sri Lanka for at least a year.
Toronto police believe that Kanagaratnam was killed sometime between Sept 3 and Dec 14 2015.
Kanagratnam is the second alleged victim of McArthur’s who was an immigrant from Sri Lanka. Six of the eight men that McArthur is charged with killing were from South Asia or the Middle East.
There was a large wave of Tamil asylum seekers from Sri Lanka that arrived in Canada in 2009 and 2010 in the aftermath of the brutal military operations that ended a 25-year civil war.
Detective Sergeant Hank Idsinga declined to comment on what Kanagaratnam’s immigration status had been at the time of his death, and it’s currently unknown if he was an asylum seeker.
Toronto police were able to identify Kanagaratnam with the help of an international government agency after circulating a photo of him that was found during their investigation.
So far police have not found any links between Kanagaratnam and Toronto’s Church-Wellesley Village or LGBT communities.
While police are still investigating a number of cold cases from between 1975 to 1997 in an attempt to see if any of them are connected to McArthur, police say they have no evidence so far linking him to any murder before 2010.
“I think we’ve all seen in the media so-called experts who tell us that serial killers don’t start in their late fifties,” Idsinga says. “But if we listen to these experts, we’d be looking for a brown-skinned, 35 year-old male. But that simply isn’t the case obviously.”