Murdered man found in hockey bag in Uxbridge pond ‘feared for his safety’: police

Durham Regional Police say they are looking for more information in an unsolved murder case involving a missing man’s body that was found in a hockey bag in Uxbridge in May.

It was on May 10 at around 2:40 p.m. when officers were called to Uxbridge Concession Road 6 and Allbright Road after a resident discovered human remains.

Police said the owner of a rural property found a hockey bag floating in a pond, retrieved it and opened it to find a body. That’s when the owner called police to report it.

The victim was identified as 32-year-old Ariel Kaplan.

Read more: Police ID body discovered in Uxbridge as 32-year-old man reported missing in Toronto

Police said Kaplan was last seen on Aug. 29, 2021 in the Yonge and Sheppard area in Toronto. His disappearance was reported to Toronto police a few days later in September.

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In an update on Monday, five months after the body was discovered, Det. Doris Carriere made an appeal to the public as no arrests have been made in the case.

“There are people out there that have information, and that information is circulating,” Carriere said. “We’re doing an investigation a significant amount of time after we believe the murder occurred. And we need the assistance of the community.”

Police revealed that they believed Kaplan was abducted on Aug. 29, 2021 before his body was disposed of after corroborating between cellphone data, bank statements, and interviews with people who knew him.

In May, police previously said it is believed that his body was disposed of in the Uxbridge area around the fall of 2021. Some witnesses reported seeing a hockey bag in the water as early as November 2021 but did not think anything of it or report it to police.

On the night of his disappearance, Carriere said Kaplan had dinner with several acquaintances in the Yorkville area in Toronto at around 9 p.m.

Read more: Human remains discovered by resident in Uxbridge, Ont., police say

Kaplan was involved in real estate and construction investments, flipping houses in the Greater Toronto Area, Carriere said.

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Carriere also said that he was previously involved in “some fraudulent activities with certain people” although investigators can’t say for sure if that’s related to his disappearance.

Carriere said Kaplan had ties to the Russian and Jewish communities in Toronto and had business ties to the Somalian, Italian and Mexican communities.

According to one witness interview, Carriere said Kaplan “feared for his safety” in the weeks before his abduction.

A coroner’s report revealed that Kaplan was in fact murdered, but Carriere would not elaborate on the types of injuries in order to verify possible information brought forward.

Although a missing person’s report was filed by Toronto police, Carriere said “it makes it harder for us when we’re starting an investigation several months after the disappearance” and is asking for someone to come forward with information to investigators or anonymously through Crime Stoppers.

Click to play video: 'Human remains found in Uxbridge, Ont., identified as 32-year-old Richmond Hill man' Human remains found in Uxbridge, Ont., identified as 32-year-old Richmond Hill man

Human remains found in Uxbridge, Ont., identified as 32-year-old Richmond Hill man – May 17, 2022

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