A 21-year-old model and small-time actor, who was reported missing on Thursday, was murdered and his body was found stuffed inside a large bag at his friend's house in East Delhi on Saturday.

The victim, identified as Sumit Tiwary, was reportedly kidnapped for ransom. His family claimed to have received two phone calls demanding ₹2 lakh for his return.

"At around 8 pm, an unidentified person called Tiwary's father using his phone and claimed that he was in their custody. He demanded ₹2 lakh for his safe release," a senior police official told Hindustan Times.

"It was followed by another ransom call after which Tiwary's mobile phone was switched off," he added.

After receiving the phone calls, the victim's father immediately lodged a complaint at the Karawal Nagar police station and a case of abduction was filed. According to the complaint, Sumit had left home on Thursday morning for the shooting of a documentary near Akshardham Temple.

A senior police officer said that the victim's body was found in a rented flat of his friend and professional script-writer, Shantideep Verma. The flat is located in Mandawali area of east Delhi.

According to The Times of India, police suspect that the motive behind the kidnapping was to finance a movie. Shantideep was working on a project in which Sumit had an acting role. Officials said they couldn't trace Shantideep after his friend's body was found.

The body was found after police tracked down the mobile number used for making the ransom calls. Investigating officials said that Sumit was strangled to death and had injury marks all over his body.

A post-mortem will be conducted on Sumit's body on Sunday or Monday.