The Metropolitan Community Church is hosting a vigil Sunday night to remember the five men who are presumed dead at the hands of alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur.
“We all feel a mix of horror and sadness and fear… I think the whole city is grieving,” said Rev. Jeff Rock, senior pastor with the Metropolitan Community Church located in the Gerard Street East and Logan Avenue area.
Earlier this week, Toronto police charged alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur with three more counts of first-degree murder, in addition to the two laid earlier this month, following an investigation into the deaths of missing men in the city’s Church and Wellesley neighbourhood.
Investigators identified the deceased as 58-year-old Majeed Kayhan, who was part of the Project Houston probe looking into the disappearances of three missing men from 2012 to 2014; 50-year-old Soroush Mahmudi, who was reported missing by his family in Scarborough in 2015; and Dean Lisowick, believed to be in his 40s, who was never reported missing and lived in Toronto’s shelter system. Police believe he died between May 2016 and July 2017.
McArthur, 66, a self-employed landscaper, was initially charged with first-degree murder two weeks ago in connection with the disappearances of Andrew Kinsman and Selim Esen from The Village.
The church posted information on the vigil on its website and Rock said the church has cancelled its regularly scheduled mass and will replace it with the vigil on Sunday at 7 p.m.
“We’re intentionally not doing a religious-based service but something for the broader community. We have a seating capacity of 600 and I think it would be a real show of solidarity if we got that many people,” he said.
“We are ready to fill this place with a lot of love.”
Rock’s intention is for the event to create a safe place for people to grieve.
“Just recognizing there is a lot of unsettled things on people’s hearts,” he said.
“This candlelight vigil is designed to create a place for people to grieve and for people to be together so people know they are not alone.”
— With files from David Shum
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