Media Release. Thursday, May 12, 2022.

Police Appeal to Community for Leads in Homicide Investigation

(Bradford, ON) The South Simcoe Police Service is appealing to the community for assistance relating to the homicide investigation of a Toronto resident Mojtaba Shabani, AKA “Erik” AKA “Moji” whose body was found inside a barrel in the Bradford Canal at approximately 1:30 p.m. on Friday, April 15, 2022. An autopsy determined he was the victim of a homicide.

Police are issuing a renewed appeal for assistance from the public in particular communities where Mr. Shabani was known to live and believed to have frequented. These communities include the Keele and Finch and Church and Wellesley areas in Toronto.

Mr. Shabani moved to Canada from Iran in 2010. To date police have been unable to locate any of his international or local relatives. The investigation has revealed he was a member of the LGBTQ2S+ community in Toronto. As part of the investigation police are trying to piece together Mr. Shabani’s life, specifically the last year. Police are appealing to anyone with information about Mr. Shabani regarding his ex-partners, family, friends, employment and recent movements to speak with police and share any information you may have.

Extensive investigative canvasses have been conducted in the area of Simcoe Road and Canal Road near where the body was located in the canal. However, police are further appealing to motorists who travel this route frequently and request that if they witnessed any suspicious activity in the area and have not yet spoken to police, please come forward.

A new photograph of Mojtaba Shabani is being 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.”

Investigators would like to take this opportunity to recognize and thank members of the community who have come forward and spoken with police in relation to this case. We would also like to recognize and thank the Toronto Police Service specifically, the LGBTQ2S+ liaison officers for engaging key community stakeholders. In addition, we would also like the thank York Regional Police for their continued support with this investigation.

York Regional Police officer Mina RAHRAVAN attended the media conference and appealed for information in Farsi.

Police are urging anyone with information relating to the investigation to contact Detective Constable Andrew Smith at (905) 775-3311 ext. 1043 or contact Detective Ben Irwin at (905) 775-3311 ext. 1040, or contact Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477).

A new photo of Mojtaba Shabani is attached: