A double murder probe is underway tonight after the discovery of a body was linked to the killing of a man five miles away.

The 30-year-old man was on Thursday found in a car boot in Barnet, north London, with stab wounds and was declared dead a short time later.

And on Friday afternoon, the body of a 35-year-old man was found in undergrowth in Elstree, Hertfordshire.

The two deaths are now being treated as a double murder in a fast-moving operation. Both victims were Eastern European men, it is understood.

“Our investigation is in its very early stages and at this time we are pursuing a number of leads to try to establish exactly what chain of events has led to two men losing their lives," detective chief inspector Simon Stancombe, of Met Police, said today.

Police maintain a cordon as a forensic tent covers a car in Barnet, north London
A police forensic tent is erected on a road in Elstree, Hertfordshire

“Forensics examination continues and we are being closely supported by our colleagues at Hertfordshire Constabulary to understand the chronology of events.

“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."

A police search team exits a field in Elstree on Friday
The fast-moving investigation continues

Officers are working to establish how long the body had been there, and whether the incident took place before or after the discovery in Barnet.

Post-mortems for both victims are in the process of being scheduled and will take place in due course.

Their families are being supported by specialist officers.

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“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.

"I would also like to reassure them that events of this nature are very rare, however if they have any concerns to contact their local neighbourhood officers.”

Police are keen to hear from anyone who may have information around suspicious vehicles being driven erratically in the Barnet and Elstree areas, or any suspicious activities they may have noticed.