Canadian alleged serial killer facing seventh murder charge

Bruce McArthur.

A Canadian alleged serial killer is facing a seventh murder charge involving a missing man whose family initially thought he had abandoned his wife and two daughters.

The prosecution said in court that 66-year-old landscaper Bruce McArthur has been charged with first-degree murder over the death of Abdulbasir Faizi.

McArthur appeared by video during the session in Toronto.

Police have been trying to identify the remains of several men found at a property McArthur used as storage for his landscaping business and say he targeted men he met through dating apps that cater to gay men, meeting them at bars in the "Gay Village" area of Toronto, as well as male prostitutes.

A relative said she was relieved Mr Faizi's remains have been found.

"For me at least there's a sense of relief because he didn't abandon anyone. He didn't run away," she said.

An assistant machine operator at a printing company, Mr Faizi went missing on December 29 2010.

Trying to determine why, his Muslim family accessed his computer and were shocked to discover he had been secretly going to bathhouses in the Gay Village and was on gay dating apps for older and large men.

When they then went to police, officers suggested he had probably just left, the relative said.

Mr Faizi's wife divorced him, thinking he had abandoned her and their two young daughters.

"She didn't know. He wasn't out. As far as she knows they were married and they were happy and he abandoned her and the daughters," she said.

But she said she always knew he did not run away.

"It didn't make sense. He didn't take his passport and he didn't take any money. It didn't make sense that police had this theory that he ran away," she said.

"I feel very guilty now because I didn't do enough."

Police set up a task force, Project Houston, in 2012 after Skandaraj Navaratnam, Majeed Kayhan and Mr Faizi, an Afghan who immigrated to Canada from Iran, went missing.

The three are South Asian or Middle Eastern and frequented gay bars in Toronto's Gay Village. That project closed in 2014.

McArthur is now charged with their murders and the murders of four other men.

He appeared wearing an orange jumpsuit and spoke in court only to say his name and acknowledge that he understood the charges against him.

McArthur has not entered a plea.

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