Detectives investigating the deaths of two eastern European men say they cannot rule out ‘a potential organised criminal element’.

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

He died a short time later, and a 31-year-old man initially taken to hospital with injuries was later arrested on suspicion of murder.

Yesterday a 35-year-old man was found with stab wounds amongst undergrowth in Elstree, Hertfordshire on Friday and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police believe the two victims might have known each other and are treating the deaths as linked.

Officers are trying to find out how long the body had been lying at the scene in Elstree and whether the killing was carried out before or after the discovery in Barnet.

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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.’