Gajapati; Dec.27: The burnt bodies of the three youths, who went mysteriously missing from Wednesday on the Ganjam-Gajapati border in south Odisha, have reportedly been detected in the Lakhari jungle of Gajapati district on Saturday.
Three persons identified as Pradeep Sethy, Nandesu Reddy and Jagannath Reddy of Padmanabhpur village remained untraced since December 23.
However, the three were murdered and bodies were burnt in a bid to destroy evidences, police added.
Family members of Pradeep said that he had gone to Gothakeli village with his two of his friends Nandesu and Jagannath to meet an insurance company agent named Lochana Behera. However, they did not return since then.
"My brother had gone to Lochana to deposit some amount over insurance policy with two of his friends, but did not return," Pradeep's sister said.
Police started investigation following complaint alleging murder of the trio. Police on Friday recovered damaged bike, three pairs of chappals from a place and burnt remains were found three kilometres far from the place. Chain and bracelet recovered from the spot has confirmed the identification of the deceased.
"The family members identified the trio from the chain and bracelets recovered from burnt remains. The bodies were burnt after murder in order to spoil evidences. Dog squad and scientific team have been pressed in to service to reach out the murderers," Satyajit Nayak, Gajapati SP, said.
On the other hand police suspected involvement of more than one person in the heinous crime. Similarly, insurance company agent Lochana is the centre of suspicion as he is absconding after the incident. Even if his mobile phone is switched off.