A burning body found in South Auckland on Thursday is being treated as a homicide.
Police have named the dead man as Shalvin Prasad, 21, of Dannemora and believe he may have been burnt alive.
He was reported missing by his family on January 31.
His body was found burning in a small scrub fire on McRobbie Rd, Kingseat that morning and was forensically identified on Friday.
Two cars were spotted leaving the area at high speed on Thursday morning at 6.30am.
Detective Inspector Dave Lynch of Counties-Manukau Police said Prasad's disappearance was out of character and there were no reasons why Prasad would go missing or take his own life.
"Based upon what we now know about Shalvin coupled with the fact his vehicle and some personal possessions are still missing it is believed that another person or persons are involved in his disappearance and death", Lynch said.
There was no indication of Prasad being tied up before he died.
Prasad's family were informed of his death and are being supported by victim support.
His brother, Pravin Prasad said Shalvin was the youngest and was "full of life".
"He is full of life, family and friends are the centre of his world," he said.
"He loves to play soccer and enjoyed his job. he is probably the most innocent 21-year-old you could meet."
Prasad asked that anyone who had seen Shalvin or spoken with him in the 48 hours before he went missing to contact police.
Police are focussing on finding Prasad's car - a 1994 Toyota RAV4, registration ZG1674 - that he left home in on Wednesday night.
It was described as in good condition, "mostly blue but has a faded black [giving the appearance of grey] colour around the base".
"Police are appealing to members of the public for any sightings of this vehicle from 8.30 pm on Wednesday night, January 30, 2013.
Police would also like to hear from any members of the automobile industry who have bought such a vehicle or were asked to dispose of such a vehicle within this timeframe.
"The second vehicle seen leaving the scene was white.
Both cars "carried on straight through the intersection into Kingseat Road travelling in the Pukekohe direction", Lynch said.
"Police are urging the drivers of these vehicles to come forward to be eliminated from the investigation.
"This is a remote location and both drivers will be well aware that their vehicles will be of interest to the investigation."
He warned that "the longer they wait to come forward will increase the level of interest police have in them and we urge them to contact us as soon as possible".
- © Fairfax NZ News
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