Worried friends, families and co-workers of two missing men in Toronto’s LGBTQ community received few answers from police at a Tuesday night meeting at the 519 Community Centre, raising concerns over the pair’s whereabouts.
Officers from a Toronto police team tasked with finding Andrew Kinsman, 49, and Selim Esen, 44, met an overflowing crowd of more than 200 people in the Church and Wellesley neighbourhood.
Toronto police say they have yet to find any criminality in the pair’s disappearances, or connection to three other missing persons cases from 2010-2012.
Among those at 519 Church St. were Kinsman’s two sisters, Patricia and Karen.
Patricia praised her brother’s friends and co-workers for going “above and beyond” in their ongoing efforts with police.
“Keep searching,” she urged the audience.
“All the hours spent and all the miles that have been walked, the police are searching,” echoed Karen, crying. “Andrew’s not alone. There are many more people who are missing.”
Parallel investigations are now being carried out so that officers can share information.
“We do not have a lot of information for you. I understand how frustrating that must be,” said Peter Code, the Toronto police inspector tasked with leading the investigation, who credited the community for sending an abundance of information.
“The police want to know everything. All information is important because we just don’t know what the next piece will lead us to.”
Harold Barnett, a member of the gay community who lives near The 519, attended the town hall after he became worried when someone slipped a note under his door asking him to meet.
“Is it a pattern?” Barnett, 74, wondered, pointing to the pair’s similar appearances.
Both men used internet dating apps and hung out in the Church and Wellesley area, according to police.
Esen, described as 5-10 and 150 pounds with brown eyes, a beard and brown hair, was last seen near Bloor and Yonge Sts.
Kinsman, described as 6-4 and 220 pounds with brown hair and a beard, was last seen near Wellesley and Parliament at 71 Winchester St., where he’s the building’s superintendent.
Code says the investigation never stopped, but that it is now being ramped up with exclusive staffing.
“We thank you for your involvement,” he told the crowd. “Assume whatever you know, we do not know.”
Town hall organizer Greg Downer says the LGBTQ community now needs to work together to build its own task force, one that can plan to better help spread the word about any disappearances.