The last time Robin LeBlanc saw Andrew Kinsman, they laughed together — and now he is believed to be one of at least five victims of an alleged serial killer in Toronto
The last time Robin LeBlanc saw her friend and neighbor Andrew Kinsman, she had no idea he would become the victim of a suspected serial killer, the Toronto resident tells PEOPLE.
It was June 26 of last year, and LeBlanc, 33, had left her keys in the key slot of the mailbox in the apartment building they both lived in, where Kinsman was the super. Always willing to lend a hand, Kinsman, 49, came by apartment that afternoon to drop off her key.
“We had a good laugh about that,” LeBlanc says. “We talked about our weekend previously and talked about our upcoming plans for the week, and he said he was going to go have coffee, and that was it.”
Now, police say they believe Kinsman is one of at least five victims of alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur, 66, who worked as a landscaper in Toronto. Authorities allege McArthur buried his victims’ remains in flower pots and planters all over the city.
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Finding out that her friend was possibly murdered by an alleged serial killer “is horrifying, to say the least,” LeBlanc says. “It’s something you only read about.”
While she mourns the death of her friend, whom she calls “a really decent guy,” an army of investigators is searching the city and excavating at least two sites associated with McArthur so far for the remains of other possible victims, Toronto Police Det. Sgt. Hank Idsinga said at a press conference Monday.
Idsinga had previously confirmed that McArthur was a known figure in the Gay Village district of Toronto, and that he was in a relationship with Kinsman, the Toronto Star reports.
On Jan. 18, McArthur, who had reportedly played Santa Claus for the past several years at a local mall, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder in the presumed deaths of Kinsman and another man, Selim Esen, both of whom were reported missing from the Gay Village area last year, Idsinga said at the press conference.
On Monday, McArthur was charged in connection with the deaths of three more men police believe were killed between 2012 and 2016: Majeed Kayhan, 58; Soroush Mahmudi, 50; and Dean Lisowick, 47.
“All of the families are, of course, shocked,” said Idsinga.
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He would not comment on McArthur’s connection to the other men or what McArthur had told police.
Idsinga did say that McArthur’s arrest came after investigators found the dismembered, skeletal remains of three unidentified victims hidden at the bottom of planters at a Toronto home that McArthur had used as storage for his landscaping business. (Idsinga said the remains found in the planters are being tested for DNA.)
“The city of Toronto has never seen anything like this,” Idsinga said. “It’s a serial killer. An alleged serial killer. He has taken some steps to cover his tracks and we have to uncover these victims and identify these victims.”
In the meantime, LeBlanc says she is trying to come to terms with her friend’s death.
A day or two after LeBlanc last saw Kinsman, other neighbors in the small building reported him missing, she says.
“He wasn’t responding to texts,” she explains, adding that neighbors noticed his cat hadn’t been fed. “They did a concern check-in and noticed he wasn’t there.”
She continues, “What went through my head was, of course, grave concern, and of course, hoping that our friend and neighbor was OK.”
Known for his baking skills and for the “delicious” chocolate stout cakes he would make for friends, Kinsman worked tirelessly with the Toronto People With AIDS Foundation.
“He put a lot of his passion into that,” she says, “Into helping people. He would help organize fundraisers for PWA.”
Overall, she says, “He was just a really good guy. He would do anything to help you. Everybody loved him.”
Calls for comment to McArthur’s attorney were not immediately returned.
Anyone with information about this case can call the Toronto police at 416-808-2021.