Missing man found dead in Minden Lake
The body of a Scarborough man who police had been searching for since declaring him missing on July 23 was pulled from Minden Lake on Sunday.
Highlands OPP said a resident had found the body of 55-year-old Robert
Smith near their dock on the north end of Minden Lake shortly before
5:30 p.m. on July 26.
Yesterday, Global News reported Smith to be a convicted sex offender, based on a source through the Toronto Police Service. When contacted by the Minden Times, TPS would not confirm those details.
Smith had been reported missing by the TPS on July 23 at
1:07 a.m. He had last been seen in the Minden area riding a red 1995
Harley Davidson motorcycle on July 22.
That motorcycle was located in an overflow parking lot off of Horseshoe Lake Road, according to local police who were called in to assist in the search at 4 p.m. on July 24. Acting OPP Staff Sergeant Jason Folz said Toronto Police had advised the local team that the motorcycle might be found there.
OPP members from the Central Region emergency response team, canine unit and aviation services searched that area, with additional resources from the underwater search and recovery unit and marine patrols joining on July 25.
Global News reported on July 28 that a source with the TPS
had confirmed “Smith is the same individual who, in 2008, was sentenced
to 20 months in prison and three years of probation after pleading
guilty to possessing and distributing child pornography. Smith’s arrest
came following an undercover police investigation in which police seized up to 1,000 graphic and sexual images of boys and girls under age 12.”
At that time, Smith was an actor best known for his role as a spokesperson for Alexander Keith’s beer, appearing in commercials as an over-the-top Scotsman.
Police searching for Smith said they were concerned for his safety. They did not disclose his criminal record, though the Times asked Toronto Police Service on July 24 and Haliburton Highlands OPP on July 26 to confirm the missing person was the same Smith associated with the previous crimes.
On July 28, TPS confirmed that the Robert Smith
who was missing had been found dead, but repeated they would not comment
on the man’s criminal history.
Folz said a post mortem examination will be scheduled at the Ontario Forensic Pathology Service in Toronto, but noted “it will be several months before any post-mortem results will be made available to investigators.” Investigators do not suspect foul play in this death investigation.