Police appeal for leads in murder of man whose body was found in Bradford canal

Investigators say Shabani frequented Toronto's gay community

South Simcoe Police appealed for information regarding the murder of 37-year-old Mojtaba Shabani of Toronto, whose body was located in the Bradford Canal on April 15, in the area of Canal and Simcoe Roads.

Police say new information indicates Shabani frequented the Keele and Finch and Church and Wellesley areas of Toronto.

At a news conference on Thursday, investigators said Shabani was a member of the LGBTQ2+ community. They are asking anyone in Toronto’s gay community who may have known Shabani or his previous whereabouts, contacts, friends, close associates, or employers to contact them.

Police also revealed that Shabani’s body was found in a barrel. They did not reveal a cause of death or how long the body had been in the water.

Investigators said the victim moved to Canada from Iran in 2010 and to date police have not been able to locate any immediate family or close contacts.

They added that Shabani did a series of labour type jobs and moved from employer to employer at times.

Investigators also appealed to motorists who travel in the area where Shabani’s body was located to contact them if they noticed anything out of the ordinary.

There could be other areas where Shabani resided, according to police, including Durham Region and Simcoe County.

A new photograph of Shabani was released in an effort to locate people who recognize him and can provide information.

“Someone knows something,” said Staff Sergeant Dave Phillips. “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.”

Do you have information related to this investigation?

Contact Detective Constable Andrew Smith at andrew.smith@southsimcoepolice.ca (905) 775-3311 ext. 1043 or contact Detective Ben Irwin at ben.irwin@southsimcoepolice.ca (905) 775-3311 ext. 1040, or contact Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477).