Police have identified three men whose bodies were found off Interstate 83 Tuesday at a crash site in a wooded area where officials said they had likely been since early Sunday morning.
Vignesh Ashokan, 23, Sharath Sudershanam, 24, and Moka Mallikarjun, 25, lived together in Fairfax, VA, and were on their way home from visiting a friend in Baltimore County when the crash occurred, according to the report by Maryland State Police.
At approximately 1:30 a.m. on Sunday, police said the three men decided to leave the home of a friend in Cockeysville to travel back to their apartment in Virginia.
Shortly thereafter, Mallikarjun was driving his 2012 Volvo S60 onto the outer loop of I-695 from southbound I-83 when, for unknown reasons, the vehicle went off the highway into a wooded area to the left of the road, police said of the preliminary investigation.
After traveling approximately 300 feet off the road, the Volvo hit a tree, police said, and the car broke into multiple pieces.
While the cause of the crash remains under investigation, police said that due to the significant damage from the impact, investigators believe speed was a factor.
When the men didn't return home, a friend of the victims filed a missing persons report in Fairfax, police said.
According to the report from Maryland State Police, the crash site was not immediately discovered because it was obscured by trees and brush in an area far from the road.
Before 4 p.m. on Tuesday, a driver called police to report seeing what looked like evidence of a vehicle crash in the wooded area along I-83, by the ramp to the outer loop of I-695, police said.
Troopers walked back into the wooded area and found pieces of a passenger car and the bodies of the three men, the report said.
The Maryland State Police crash team and criminal enforcement division responded, and a cadaver dog team searched the area to ensure all victims were found, police said.
The three men's bodies were taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, where their autopsies will likely be conducted Wednesday, police reported.