(Photo: United Russia via RIA Novosti)
(TheBlaze/AP) -- Officials say the body of a Russian lawmaker has been found cemented in a barrel, and a former government official is accused of ordering the killing over a staggering $80 million debt.
37-year-old Mikhail Pakhomov went missing last week. He was said to be a promising "up-and-coming" politician in Lipetsk, a city some 215 miles south of Moscow, representing President Vladimir Putin's United Russia party.
The father of two and former businessman was last seen last Tuesday, when three unidentified men reportedly pushed him into a car outside a restaurant and drove away.
Russia's Investigative Committee says several suspects were detained after witnesses reported the event and police found Lipetsk's belongings in the trunk of a car that was pulled over for speeding.
Authorities soon found Pakhomov's badly beaten body in a barrel of cement in a garage.
Russian television stations aired footage provided by police that showed a fragment of a barrel, pieces of concrete and officers carrying what appeared to be Pakhomov's body on a stretcher and loading it into a vehicle.
The Investigative Committee says the former deputy minister for communal services in Moscow's provincial government Yevgeny Kharitonov is being held on suspicion of ordering the killing. He apparently said he had to recover the $80 million debt if he had any hope of advancing his career.
"For Kharitonov, career was the main priority," the investigative committee's spokesman Vladimir Markin said.
“A similar event has never happened with a V.I.P. in our city,” an editorial based in Lipetsk reads, according to the New York Times. “Even in the ‘evil ’90s’ nobody disappeared: businessmen were killed right where they lived or worked, and bandits from competing groups shot or blew each other up wherever they happened to be.”