January 26th, 2018
Leaside couple in shock as planters with human remains found at their home As Ron Smith watched the detective announce on live TV that investigators had found human bones buried in his backyard flower planters, he clutched his partner Karen Fraser’s hand.“This is what we were afraid of,” Smith said.For years, Bruce McArthur mowed their lawn and tended to their gardens, filling enormous planters with begonias and flowering vines. He needed a space to store some equipment and they made an arrangement: he could use their garage if he’d mow their lawn when they were away. To determine that, police may bring in an expert to examine the discolouration on the skeleton and whether it matches the soil in the pot. Smith said he never saw McArthur digging while doing lawn work, adding that the house sits on hard clay soil.“We don’t think (anything was buried) simply because the ground is so damn hard even normally, forget about frozen, that digging a hole in that is almost impossible,” Smith said.After Monday’s police press conference, Smith noted McArthur often used their home as a prep site from which he would shepherd pots of flowers and decorations to his customers around Toronto.“Heaven help us, those planters may have been on their way to someone else next year if he hadn’t been caught,” Smith said.Police said they have searched most of the 30 properties they’ve linked to McArthur, but they believe there are more remains and are continuing to search for them. One of those homes belongs to one of Fraser and Smith’s friends. Liddle said he never spoke to McArthur.