Police say a man who was found dead in Bradford last month was a member of Toronto’s gay community and are appealing to the public for any information that may help solve his murder.
The remains of Mojtaba Shabani were found in a barrel by kayakers in the Bradford Canal in the Canal and Simcoe Roads area on April 15.
On Thursday, police said the 37-year-old had ties to Toronto’s LGBTQ2S+ community and frequented the neighborhoods of Keele and Finch and Church and Wellesley.
“…We are appealing to members of this community who may know Mr. Shabani or have information about his whereabouts, contacts, any of his close friends or associates, any employers, any information will be very much appreciated. important to solving this case,” Master Sgt. David Phillips said at a press conference Thursday afternoon.
After conducting an autopsy, police ruled Shabani’s death a homicide but did not release the cause of his death.
Phillips said there was no evidence to suggest Shabani was killed because of his sexuality.
“There is no (suggestion) at this stage, but we are not condoning any possibility. Again, it is important that members of this community, if they know Mr. Shabani to come forward, help us.
Police also released a new image of Shabani on Thursday that looks better than he did before his death.
Shabani moved from Iran to Canada in 2010 and police said he appeared to have lived a transient lifestyle.
Police believe Shabani may have lived in different parts of Ontario, including Durham Region and Simcoe County.
Phillips said Shabani held multiple jobs and “sometimes moved from employer to employer.”
“Mr. Shabani was very quiet in the community. We had difficulty finding people who knew him. We are appealing to any international family, casual acquaintance of Mr. Shabani. Someone has information out there that are going to change this case, it’s going to give us more information to go on,”
Police had previously released descriptions of three vehicles they said had Shabani registrations. They are a gray 2004 Honda Accord with license plate “CHAW891”, a blue 2001 Honda Civic with license plate “BVHR490” and a red 2003 Volkswagen with license plate “CHAW891”. registration “CFPC027”.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the police or Crime Stoppers anonymously.
– With files from CTV Barrie