The person(s) responsible for putting a man’s body into a barrel and dumping it into the Bradford canal last month are still at large.
South Simcoe police said they are turning to the public for help narrowing down the last movements of Mojtaba Shabani after kayakers made the gross discovery on April 15.
In a press conference Thursday, police said the 37-year-old man, who went by the names’ Erik’ and ‘Moji’ was a member of the LGBTQ2S+ community in Toronto, and they would like to hear from anyone who knew him or saw him in the days and weeks leading up to his death.
“We’ve learned new information that Mr. Shabani frequented the communities of Keel and Finch, and Church and Wellesley,” said South Simcoe Police Staff Sgt. Dave Phillips. “We are appealing to those members of that community who may know Mr. Shabani or have any information about his former whereabouts, his contacts of him, any of his friends or close associates, or any employers. Any information is important to this case. “
Police released a new image of homicide victim Mojtaba Shabani, 37, from the Toronto area, whose body was discovered in the canal in Bradford, Ont., on Fri., April 15, 2022 (Supplied)
Police said the cause of death is homicide but won’t say how Shabani died. They said they were working on a timeline to determine how long he had been dead before his body was discovered, but Phillips noted, “It does n’t appear that it was a lengthy period of time.”
He added that they weren’t “turning a blind eye” to the possibility he may have been targeted.
Police said he moved to Canada from Iran in 2010, and investigators were “struggling” to find any immediate family or close contacts.
Phillips said Shabani worked a series of labour-type jobs and had several employers and would like to speak with them. “We would very much appreciate an opportunity to speak with you, regardless of how long ago that may have been.”
Police also appealed to motorists who were in the area of Canal and Simcoe roads where his body was found who may have seen anything suspicious or out of the ordinary.
“Someone knows something,” Phillips said. “We need you to come forward and assist police in advancing this homicide investigation. Your information, no matter how small or insignificant you may think it is, could be the key.”
So far, police have not named any suspects in the homicide case.
Investigators urge anyone with information relating to the investigation to contact Det. Const. Andrew Smith at (905) 775-3311 ext. 1043 or Det. Ben Irwin at (905) 775-3311 ext. 1040, or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-8477.