A mum was found dead in a sewer after meeting a man who was planning to buy a car off her.

Ksenia Katorgina, 27, is the latest victim of criminal gangs in Russia believed to be targeting women who buy or sell cars.

Two men and a woman were today held on murder charges in Sverdlovsk region.

Police earlier detected her blood stains in the vehicle which was put up for sale.

Detectives suspect she was last Thursday set up with a potential woman buyer – who looked like her – in her the city of Yekaterinburg.

She was then attacked by a ruthless gang who murdered her, and stole the car.

The Yekaterinburg woman was advertising her car for sale for £9,700, and she was selling to pay off loans, hoping to realise her dream to buy a flat where she could raise her nine year old daughter who lived mainly with her grandmother.

The motive of the murder was to steal the car and sell the vehicle, said a law enforcement source.

The buyer of the car said a "gypsy" woman sold him the vehicle.

When he saw news reports about Ksenia’s disappearance he realised he had been duped into a stolen car deal and called police.

"After the murder, the attackers got rid of the victim’s body in the Ordzhonikidze district of Yekaterinburg, dropping it into a sewer," said a law enforcement source.

The woman suspect is accused of using the passport of the victim – who she resembled – to sell the vehicle, pocketing the £6,100 cash.

A video shows one suspect leading police to the sewer where they had left Ksenia’s body.

The detainee was named as Marat Ahmetvaliev, 42.

Another was named as Mikhail Fedorovich, born in 1990, and the woman “accomplice” is 31.

Police have warned about a spate of car killings targeting women buying or selling vehicles.

Last month cryptocurrency trader Natalia Ustinova, 36, dropped her two children at school in Novosibirsk then took a taxi to buy a new car.

Her brutally disfigured body was found three weeks later close to the address she went to for the private deal.

Earlier there had been a huge search involving police and volunteers trying to find her.

She was carrying a “large sum of money” in cash which was stolen, say reports.

The murder suspects have not been found.

In another case this year, Irina Sinelnikova, 34, from Berdsk, also a mother of two, went to see a potential buyer aiming sell her Peugeot 407.

Her disappearance also sparked a huge search involving volunteers.

Her killers first gave her an electric shock before strangling her and dumping her body in Kemerovo region, say police.

They sold her car immediately for £1,800.

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