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Police probing linked murders say they cannot rule out organised crime

Two men were separately found dead in north London and Hertfordshire earlier this week, and it is believed they knew each other.

Police have linked the two murders (PA)
Police have linked the two murders (PA)

By Caitlin Doherty, PA

Detectives investigating the murders of two eastern European men have said they cannot rule out “a potential organised criminal element”.

A 30-year-old man was found with stab wounds in the boot of a car near Scratchwood Park, Barnet, north London, on Thursday evening.

Police were called shortly after 8:10pm to reports of a fight in Courtland Avenue, but found no victims or suspects.

The man in the car was then found around 15 minutes later, and died a short time afterwards.

A 31-year-old man at the scene, initially taken to hospital with injuries, was later arrested on suspicion of murder, and remains in custody.

The second man, 35, was discovered with stab wounds in undergrowth in Hogg Lane, Elstree, Hertfordshire, on Friday afternoon.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The remote lane is around five miles from the road where the first man was found less than 24 hours earlier.

Officers are working to establish how long the body had been there, and whether his death occurred before or after the discovery in Barnet.

Metropolitan Police Detective Chief Inspector Simon Stancombe said: “At these very early stages, we believe both the deceased men are eastern European males.

“While we retain an open mind as to a motive, we cannot rule out whether there might be a potential organised criminal element.

“We also believe that the two victims might have been known to each other.”

Investigators have asked any local residents who might have any information or footage to come forward.

DCI Stancombe added: “I am asking those residents who live in the vicinity of the crime scenes in Barnet and Elstree to think very carefully about anything suspicious you may have seen over the last few days, and to make contact with us immediately.

“[…] It could be that you may have caught something via dashcam footage that could prove massively important.

“The slightest fragment of information could prove crucial.”

PA

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