Police ask Toronto gay community for help in Bradford murder case

Police say the man found dead in Bradford last month was a member of the Toronto gay community, and they are appealing to the public for any information to help solve his murder.

Mojtaba Shabani’s remains were found in a barrel by kayaks in the Bradford Canal, in the Canal Road area and Simcoe, on 15 April.

On Thursday, police announced that the 37-year-old was connected to the LGBTQ2S+ community in Toronto and frequented the Keele, Finch, Church and Wellesley areas.

“…we appeal to members of this community who may know Mr. Chebani or have any information about his whereabouts or previous whereabouts, his contacts, any of his friends or close associates, any employers, or any information that is going to be important very much to resolve this case,” Sgt. David Phillips said at a news conference Thursday afternoon.

After an autopsy was performed, the police ruled that Shabani’s death was a murder but did not reveal the cause of his death.

Phillips said there was no evidence to believe that al-Shabani was killed because of his sexual orientation.

“There is no (suggestion) at this point but we are not turning a blind eye to any possibility. Again, it is important that members of this community, if they know Mr. Chebani, help us to come forward.”

On Thursday, the police also published a new photo of Chebani that better resembled what he was before his death.

Shabani moved from Iran to Canada in 2010 and police said he appears to have led a fleeting lifestyle.

Police believe Shabani may have lived in various areas of Ontario, including the Durham area and Simcoe County.

Phillips said Shabani held several labor positions and “goed from employer to employer at times.”

“Mr. Shabani was very quiet in the community. We were struggling to find people who were familiar with him. We would appeal to any international family, casual acquaintances of Mr. Shabani. Someone has information there that will change this situation, and give us some additional information to continue,”

Police earlier released descriptions of three vehicles they said were registered to Shabani. It’s a gray 2004 Honda Accord with “CHAW891” license plate, a blue 2001 Honda Civic with “BVHR490” license plate, and a 2003 red VW with “CFPC027” license plate.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the police or the Stoppers without revealing their identity.

– With files from CTV Barrie

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