Task force set up to investigate disappearance of two men with ties to gay village
Selim Esen (left) and Andrew Kinsman (right) are shown in these handout photos. Police have set up a task force to investigate the separate disappearance of the two Toronto men. (Toronto Police Service)
Rachael D'Amore, CP24.com
Published Friday, July 28, 2017 9:45AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, July 28, 2017 10:15AM EDT
Toronto police have assigned a dedicated team of officers to investigate the disappearance of two men with ties to the Church and Wellesley streets neighbourhood.
The task force will focus on the disappearance of 44-year-old Selim Esen and 49-year-old Andrew Kinsman.
Esen was last seen on April 14 near Bloor and Yonge streets.
Kinsman disappeared on June 26, just two months later.
Police say Kinsman was last seen near Parliament and Winchester streets, shortly after Pride festivities came to a close.
Friends of Kinsman have been vocal about their concerns for his safety and emphasized on several occasions that the disappearance is “completely out of his character.”
Since June, Kinsman’s case has circulated on social media as being one of several involving LGBTQ men who have disappeared since 2010.
Some community members have suggested that the disappearances are linked but police say they have no evidence to verify the theory.
“There has been some suggestion, within the Church/Wellesley community, that the disappearances of Andrew Kinsman and Selim Esen are linked as well as with three other men reported missing from the same area from 2010 to 2012,” Toronto police wrote in a news release Friday.
“Detailed investigation and evidence obtained, thus far, in the course of both investigations, has not confirmed a link although, as part of the police investigation, this is being considered.”
Despite this, police say both disappearances are being considered suspicious.
“It is out of character for both, as is the absence of communication with people they were habitually in contact with,” police said in the release.
Friends of Kinsman have posted missing persons flyers throughout the Village and across much of the city’s downtown core.
Earlier this month, two of Kinsman’s closest friends made a public appeal for information about his whereabouts.
“I’m just very afraid,” Cecilia Saez told reporters through tears.
“I’m afraid for his safety. I’m pleading now for some information… any tips that can lead us to find out what happened to Andrew.”
Kinsman is described as standing approximately six-foot-four, about 220 pounds with a stocky build, brown hair and a brown beard.
Kinsman has a tattoo on his right arm of the word ‘Queer’ and another on the right side of his chest of an expletive. Police say Kinsman wears glasses and has a vertical scar on each of his knees from a medical procedure.
In the case of Selim Esen, police say he’s known to frequent the Ted Rogers Way area and is familiar with the Church and Wellesley neighbourhood.
He is described as standing five-foot-ten, weighing about 150 pounds with brown eyes, brown hair and a full beard.
Esen was often in possession of a silver suitcase on wheels.
Police say both men were active on social media dating applications.
Anyone with new information is being asked to call police or Crime Stoppers.