Canadian alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur is now facing an eighth murder charge, the death of a Sri Lankan man who had not been reported missing.

Alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur is seen in this undated file photo.
Alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur is seen in this undated file photo. (Reuters)

A Canadian landscaper accused of serial killings targeting Toronto's gay community was charged on Monday with an eighth murder after police identified the victim from a photograph seemingly taken after his death.

Bruce McArthur, 66, made a brief appearance via video link in a Toronto court where the new charge was announced.

Afterwards, police told a news conference the victim was Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam, who moved to Canada from Sri Lanka in 2010.

The Toronto area resident would have been 37 years old at the time of his death, which police put at some time between September 3 and December 14, 2015.

Kanagaratnam did not have any immediate family in Canada, was not reported missing to police in this country, and had no known ties to Toronto's gay community.

"He doesn't quite fit the profile (of the victims) that we've seen before," said lead investigator Detective Sergeant Hank Idsinga.

To date, police have identified the remains of seven victims, including Kanagaratnam, from dismembered body parts found hidden inside some 20 planters belonging to the accused.

The body of an eighth victim has not been found.

Last month, police released a photograph of a man with bruising on his face and asked for the public's help in identifying the murder victim, now confirmed to be Kanagaratnam.

Police would not comment on the origin of the photograph, but said it was a key piece of evidence.

"The identification was confirmed with assistance from an international government agency," Idsinga said, declining to say which agency.

The investigation, meanwhile, has expanded to include more than 75 properties in the Toronto area where McArthur did some landscaping work. Some of them will be excavated once the frozen ground thaws.

Police have also reopened 15 cold cases dating back to 1975 for possible links to McArthur, who was arrested in January after coming under suspicion in a probe of missing persons from Toronto's Gay Village.

Source: AFP