Investigators looking into the discovery of a corpse inside the boot of a car on Tuesday believe the man was probably stabbed to death somewhere else around the end of last week.

The police are trying to piece together the “complicated jigsaw puzzle” to shed light on the third murder of the year, as they await the outcome of today’s autopsy to confirm certain details, including the identity of the man found inside the grey Peugeot 407 in Qormi valley.

A source close to the investigation said wounds were found on the body compatible with a sharp instrument.

The autopsy is expected to confirm the cause of death.

The car, registered as a taxi, belongs to Mario Farrugia, 62, who was reported missing on March 28. Farrugia was last seen at his home in Pembroke.

The police had issued an appeal for information on the missing man on April 2. Farrugia was not known to the police.

The badly decomposed body was discovered after officers reacted to reports of an unbearable stench from an abandoned car in Qormi valley at around 10.30am on Tuesday.

The body was fully clothed, with the face and upper part of the torso covered with a blood-soiled white cloth.

The site is very well known for drug deals.

Bloodstains on bumper

Sources close to the investigation believe the man was not killed inside the boot and neither on site since the amount of blood found did not indicate that the crime took place there.

Had the man been killed inside the car boot, blood would have been found underneath the car, the sources said. According to forensic examinations so far, only bodily fluids were found on site.

Bloodstains were found on the car’s bumper, which indicate they may have been left there while the body was being placed inside the boot.

Police sources also confirmed that the car was found locked and the dust on it showed it had been parked without being driven since the weekend, when dust rain hit the island, giving everything a tinge of brown sand from the Sahara.

Investigators are using the road security cameras to trace the last time the car was seen being driven and are hoping to use this footage to identify the person driving it.

The police homicide squad is being assisted by police officers from the Qormi and St Julian’s districts. The investigations are being led by the police major crimes unit.

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