News / Toronto

Project Prism: Search intensifies at property linked to accused killer Bruce McArthur

Toronto Police set up a large green tent in the backyard of the home, and both a police investigative and public safety unit arrived on-scene.

A tent covers the backyard of 53 Mallory Crescent as Toronto police continue an investigation regarding charges related to Bruce McArthur.

RICK MADONIK / Torstar News Service

A tent covers the backyard of 53 Mallory Crescent as Toronto police continue an investigation regarding charges related to Bruce McArthur.

Police set up a large green tent on Friday in the backyard of a Toronto home linked to accused killer Bruce McArthur.

The Leaside house, owned by Karen Fraser and Ron Smith, was used by McArthur to store his landscaping equipment in exchange for mowing the owners’ lawn when they were away.

McArthur is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Andrew Kinsman and Selim Esen, two men who disappeared from Toronto’s Gay Village earlier this year.

Police suspect there are more victims.

They have not found the bodies of Kinsman and Esen.

On Jan. 18, police arrived with a search warrant for the property on Mallory Crescent, near Bayview and Moore Aves. Fraser and Smith had 20 minutes to get out. Detectives began to ask questions, at which point the pair had no idea what was going on.

Eventually, they were told that McArthur was under arrest. Their property had been under police control since that time.

Fraser and Smith told the Star they want to help the police in any way that they can.

Police investigated several properties, including some in Toronto and one in Madoc, Ont., after McArthur’s arrest. Three will be released back to their to owners by Tuesday.

Connie Uetrecht, who lives across from the Leaside house with her husband Jack, said police put up incident tape around the house Sunday or Monday, and that forensics team cars were parked outside.

On Friday morning, the forensics cars had disappeared. “I was thinking maybe they’d let the people in the house come back,” she said.

Then a semi with a flatbed arrived at the house. Uetrecht noticed two large metal containers being hauled to the backyard, where she later saw that a large tent had been set up.

The truck was gone by noon, and both a police investigative unit and public safety unit appeared outside the house in the afternoon. Jack Uetrecht didn’t see the truck arrive at the house Friday, but said earlier in the week two people in suits arrived at the house in unmarked cars, and went into the backyard with four policemen.

They were there for about 30 minutes, he said.

“It’s kind of spooky,” Connie told the Star.

Around 9:15 Friday evening, two officers returned to the backyard and came back with what appeared to be fuel containers, which they loaded into a truck that then left. The two officers returned to their patrol cars outside the house.

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