A man who disappeared hours after he crossed the border into England from Scotland was murdered, police believe.
Paul Taylor, 56, was last seen on October 17 leaving his home in Annan, Dumfries and Galloway, as he headed to Carlisle.
Police Scotland said last month it had grown “increasingly concerned” for his welfare as it issued a plea to help find him.
But on Wednesday Cumbria Police confirmed it had arrested two 19-year-old men on suspicion of murder.
A 37-year-old man from Carlisle and a 17-year-old boy, from Appleby, were also arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.
All remain in custody.
The force believes Mr Taylor travelled towards Carlisle shortly before midnight on October 17 via the M6 Southbound.
They say the car then headed in the direction of the Kingmoor South area of Carsile and the Carlisle West area.
Detectives are also looking at possible sightings of his blue Vauxhall Corsa – registration PY18 DYO – in the Yewdale, Sandsfield Park and Brough Road areas on the night of October 17 and early morning of October 18.
Mr Taylor’s car was later found abandoned in Langwathby at around 8.45am on October 19.
Detective chief superintendent Dave Pattinson said: “We have been working round the clock to try and find Paul since he was last seen on Tuesday, October 17.
“As the investigation has developed, and due to new information we have received, we are now treating the disappearance of Paul Taylor as a murder investigation.
“We are still requesting the assistance of the public to provide any information to us which may assist police, so we can understand the circumstances and events of what has happened.”
DCS Pattinson urged those who knew or spoke to Mr Taylor in the months leading up to his disappearance to contact them.
He said: “Paul was driving a blue Corsa, reg: PY18 DYO, which detectives believe made it to the Yewdale, Sandsfield Park and Brough Road areas in Carlisle on the night/early morning of October 17 and 18, before being found in Langwathby on the morning of Thursday, October 19. If you saw this car – please contact us.”
“Don’t worry if you think the information is not important or may not be significant, it could be vital to help us establish what has happened to Paul and give his family the answers they deserve,” DCS Pattinson said.
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