Gardening 'serial killer's' alleged victim tally doubles as police find more bodies in pot plants

Police in Canada say they have found the remains of at least six missing persons inside planters on a property connected to alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur.

The remains were found in large flower planters at a residential property in Toronto where McArthur, 66, worked and stored his landscaping equipment, The BBC reports.

McArthur, 66, was arrested on January 18 and charged with two counts of murder in connection with the disappearances of Andrew Kinsman and Selim Esen, two men last seen in the “Gay Village” district of Toronto.

Not long after that, he was charged with the murders of three more men and police said they were on a wide search for other possible victims.

Toronto police forensic officers stand outside a house in Madoc, Ontario. Source: AP

As the investigation widens, detectives have already visited at least 30 other properties in the city where McArthur was known to have worked.

“It is getting bigger and we are getting more resources as we go along, so it is going to be a very, very extensive investigation,” Detective Sergeant Hank Idsinga said.

McArthur is accused of systematically targeting men in the city’s gay community.

This combo of photos provided by the Toronto Police Service shows the five men Toronto landscaper Bruce McArthur is accused of killing, from left to right; Selim Essen, 44, Sorush Mahmudi, 50, Dean Lisowick, Andrew Kinsman, 49, and Majeed Kayhan, 58. Source: Toronto Police Service

Det. Idsinga said investigators continue to search McArthur’s residence at 95 Thorncliffe Park, and a residence at 53 Mallory, which McArthur used for storage for his landscaping work.

"Assistance from outside agencies, including the Ontario Provincial Police, the province’s forensic pathology services and the Centre of Forensic Sciences is being utilised to search these premises,” Idsinga said.

Complete details have not yet been released by police but McArthur is believed to have met his victims cruising around the city in the van he used for work and on gay dating apps for older and large men with names such as "SilverDaddies" and "Bear411."

In his SilverDaddies profile, Mr McArthur described himself as 177cm tall and 100kg and primarily interested in younger men.

He posted pictures of his cats, children and grandchildren and of himself dressed as Santa Claus on his Facebook page.

crime scene tape surrounds a property where police say they recovered the remains of at least six people from planters on the property which is connected to alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur. Source: AP

"There is an extensive digital investigation going on," Detective Sergeant Idsinga said. "We're going through computers. We're going through cell phones. We're going through online applications and different apps."

Mr McArthur is due back in court on February 14. He has yet to enter a plea. Edward Royle, a lawyer for Mr McArthur, has declined comment on the case.

Police will eventually look at hundreds of missing person cases and try to determine if they were victims of McArthur. They are also running down tips that have come in from around the world.

“We are dealing with some agencies overseas,” Idsinga said.