Toronto police have identified the remains of Majeed Kayhan after an excavation of a Leaside property connected to alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur.
Investigators returned to the home on Mallory Crescent earlier this month after cadaver dogs indicated several points of interest on the property.
Toronto police said human remains were located almost every day of the nearly two week dig.
At a press conference on Friday, Det.-Sgt. Hank Idsinga, with the Toronto police homicide unit, said Kayhan’s remains were found near a ravine at the back of the property.
The 58 year old was reported missing in October 2012.
McArthur has already been charged with first-degree murder in connection with Kayhan’s death, despite police not having previously found any of his remains.
Kayhan’s disappearance was part of Project Houston, which also looked into the disappearance of Skandaraj Navaratnam and Abdulbasir Faizi.
McArthur is facing eight charges of first-degree murder in connection with the death of Andrew Kinsman, Selim Esen, Majeed Kayhan, Soroush Mahmudi, Dean Lisowick, Abdulbasir Faizi, Skandaraj Navaratnam and Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam.
Most of the men had connections to Toronto’s Gay Village.
The discovery of the eighth set of remains marks an important moment for the emotional well-being of those impacted by McArthur’s alleged crimes, Idsinga said.
“It’s important for the families for closure, for the victims themselves, and for the community … as a whole,” he said. “It’s been a terrible set of circumstances, and hopefully some healing can go on and some closure can be brought to the families.”
Idsinga said he has spoken to Kayhan’s family since the identification of the man’s remains and said they are going through a “very difficult” time.
“Of course they were eternally hopeful that what has happened ultimately wouldn’t happen,” he said. “But they are very grateful for the closure.”
Finding Kayhan’s remains is a positive step, said the executive director of the Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention.
“It’s actually kind of nice to know that they found Majeed and his family can rest and the community can rest,” said Haran Vijayanathan, whose organization has called for a review of the way police handled reports of missing gay men, several of them from South Asian backgrounds, in the years leading up to McArthur’s arrest.
“Hopefully these reviews and this entire case and experience will inform how we collect information, how we support individuals, how we work with individuals who are coming in with crises,” he said.
Police have searched about 100 properties linked to McArthur, but have only found human remains in and around the one central Toronto home.
Isginga said that “as of right now” there is nothing to indicate that there are more than the eight victims previously identified.
However, police are still looking at cold cases.
“I don’t know if it stops at eight, but I hope it stops at eight,” Idsinga said.
So far police have followed up with the hundreds of and hundreds of leads provided by the public.
Idsinga said police are still getting tips internationally and that “we still have a lot of work to do.”
McArthur’s case is scheduled to return to court on July 23.
Files from The Canadian Press were used in this report