Banker caught in gay web murder

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Police in Toronto, Canada have arrested a former investment banker and charged him with first-degree murder and the disappearance of a man he met on a gay website.

After eluding police, David Kenton Reid, 46, was arrested by Ontario Provincial Police officers at a cottage last weekend, not far from where he crashed his car and fled on foot one week earlier.

“Officers contained the area and, after approaching the cottage, Reid gave himself up without incident,” OPP Constable Dave Meyer, who would not say who owned the cottage, told Canada’s Globe and Mail.

Lawyer Peter DeJulio said the family is struggling to come to grips with the case.

“They’re very disturbed at the situation and they have to consider their position,” he said to Globe and Mail. “It’s a very difficult situation, an arrest like this, and they really don’t know what to think right now.”

Reid, who is also alleged to have spent time hiding in a garden shed, is charged in connection with the suspected murder of Harley Walker, a 72-year-old retired CBC technician who went missing on Oct 13 2006. Walker’s body has not been found, but his Toronto home contained blood and other signs of violence, the Globe and Mail reports.

Police have said they believe the case is a kidnapping-extortion plot gone wrong.

According to CTV Toronto, Walker’s bank account was allegedly looted shortly after Reid was invited to the missing man’s home.

Walker’s body has not been found, reports CTV, but investigators believe he may have been slain.

Yesterday, Walker’s neighbours on a small Cabbagetown street expressed relief about the arrest and described him as an ideal neighbour.

“I mean, it was just so awful. Harley was really nice and everybody liked him on the street and everything, so it’s too bad he got mixed up with that,” Walker’s next-door neighbour Barbara McDowell, told the Globe and Mail.

According to the Globe and Mail, police asked Reid to come in for questioning on October 21, but he fled north and crashed his car into trees near Meaford, which is on Georgian Bay east of Owen Sound. He grew up in the Flesherton area, south of Meaford. Investigators urged local residents to report anything unusual to police.

Reid, had been wanted on an aggravated-assault arrest warrant. The charge was upgraded to first-degree murder on Friday.

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