IPOH - Two friends who were found dead in a car boot at the south-bound Alor Pongsu rest area were believed to have been kidnapped in Penang.
Seu Hong Chee, 19, from Tangkak in Johor and Ting Liong Chin, 28, from Sabah were reported missing on Oct 2 from Nibong Tebal by a friend.
Their bodies were found tied with a rope on Friday, and their heads wrapped in plastic bags. There were bruises caused by a blunt object on them.
According to sources, the victims were salesmen for a hardware chain based in Kuala Lumpur, but Seu was transferred to the Penang outlet a few months ago.
On Oct 2, he and Ting went to collect a debt from a client in Jawi in Penang, in the same car in which they were found dead.
A source said they had called their office when they reached their destination, but they could not be contacted when a colleague tried to reach them after that.
After several attempts, the colleague lodged a police report.
Perak CID chief Senior Asst Comm Datuk Mohd Dzuraidi Ibrahim said Penang police arrested three men in their 20s and 30s on Friday and yesterday in connection with the murders.
SAC Mohd Dzuraidi said a post-mortem at the Raja Permaisuri Hospital here showed that Seu was strangled while Ting suffocated from having his head covered with the plastic bag.
Both the Perak and Penang police are investigating the motive behind the murders, and trying to determine whether this was a case of a kidnap gone awry.
"We are trying to find out how the car with the bodies ended up in Perak," SAC Mohd Dzuraidi told reporters here yesterday.
The families of the victims identified the bodies at the hospital's mortuary at about 11.30am yesterday.
A relative of Seu said that when family members learnt of his disappearance, some of them put up his photograph on their Facebook page, asking if anyone had seen him.
Ting's family members declined to speak to reporters.