Police, Toronto's LGBTQ community search for missing men
As Toronto police continue their search for two missing men from the city’s LGBTQ community, family members and friends attended a town hall meeting Tuesday night to discuss the troubling disappearances.
Andrew Kinsman, 49, was last seen on June 26, after attending Pride celebrations in the city. Selim Esen, 44, disappeared on April 14.
“The disappearance of both men is considered suspicious,” police said in a news release last week. “It is out of character for both, as is the absence of communication with people they were habitually in contact with.”
Police said that both men were familiar with Toronto’s Church Street and Wellesley Street area, known as the gay village. Investigators said there’s been some suggestion that Kinsman and Esen’s disappearances are somehow connected to the cases of three other men who went missing from the Church and Wellesley area between 2010 and 2012. So far, police say, no link has been established between the older and more recent disappearances, but all possibilities are being considered.
Kinsman’s friends and family said he had deep roots in the community and it was not like him to simply take off without telling anyone.
“I never thought that it would ever happen to our brother,” one of his sisters, Karen Coles, told CTV Toronto before Tuesday’s meeting. “You hear about people who go missing, but you never think it’s going to affect you.”
Kinsman’s other sister, Patricia Kinsman, said his disappearance has taken a toll on the family.
“We go to bed thinking about Andrew, we wake up thinking about Andrew. It’s all day, it’s life-consuming,” she said.
Police have put together a task force to investigate the missing person cases. Although they’ve received numerous tips, they haven’t produced any major leads yet.
“We’re not tying anything, we’re simply going by where the evidence leads us,” Supt. Tony Riviere said Tuesday.
“And as it stands right now, all the evidence does not substantiate any criminality. That doesn’t mean everything is not on the table. It is.”
Kinsman is described as 6’4”, 220 pounds, with brown hair and a full beard. He has the word “Queer” tattooed on his right arm.
Esen is described as 5’10”, 150 pounds, with brown eyes, brown hair and a full beard. Police say he was often in possession of a silver suitcase with wheels.
Anyone with information about the missing men is asked to contact police at 416-808-5100, or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477) or online at www.222tips.com.
With a report from CTV Toronto’s Sean Leathong