Two Bulgarian nationals were arrested by police in Magnisia prefecture on Tuesday night, charged with the killing of a 65-year-old Italian merchant who has been missing for five months. A third Bulgarian national was wanted in the same case.

According to police, a search of the residence of one of the suspects in the village of Sourpi turned up objects belonging to the Italian merchant and part of his merchandise.

During the preliminary investigation the two Bulgarians, aged 42 and 37, admitted to the killing, saying they had acted together with the 29-year old Bulgarian who is wanted by police.

They said that in the afternoon of October 2010, on the pretext of a planned purchase of agricultural tools, they had led the merchant to the mountain region of Stavros where they beat and stoned him to steal objects of value, and then dumped the body in a nearby hillside.

They hid the stolen goods in shrubbery, as well as the victim's car, which was discovered a few days later.

Police said the morphology of the terrain was hampering the ongoing search for the merchant's corpse.