Three men have been arrested after a man’s body was found in woodland in Essex.
It is suspected that the deceased – in his 40s – and a woman in her 30s were “taken against their will in a vehicle” in north London on Thursday night, Scotland Yard said.
Despite the body being found in Essex, the Met Police have taken charge of the investigation because it is believed the man died in Greater London.
The woman has been found and is “physically unharmed,” officers said. She and the man were known to each other.
The body was found close to the Oakwood Hill Industrial Estate in Loughton just before midday on Saturday.
His death is being treated as suspicious, Essex Police said.
Scotland Yard said it was alerted just before 10am.
“Detectives believe the man reported missing is the man found in Loughton,” the Met said in a statement.
“A post mortem and formal identification will take place in due course.”
The three men were arrested in Kent and remain in police custody.
Detective Inspector Kate Kieran, of the Met’s Specialist Crime Directorate, said: “This is a very complex and fast-paced investigation involving multiple units across the (Met), as well as invaluable support from our colleagues at Essex Police.
“While the investigation is still at an early stage, a key line of inquiry is that the man and woman were taken against their will in a vehicle on Thursday night.”
Ms Kieran is urging anyone who was in Ebony Crescent in Enfield on Thursday night and who may have seen anything to get in touch.
Detective Inspector Rob Kirby, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: “The Met Police will now take the lead on this investigation but we will continue to support them.”
Anyone with information should call 101 or, to remain anonymous, contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.