With the arrest of one of his abductors on Monday morning, police were hopeful of rescuing builder Vinod Kumar Bansal.
Deepak, who goes only by his first name, told the police that he had held Bansal captive in an under-construction house in Sector 92, Noida.
However, on the way to Noida, Deepak broke down and confessed to killing Bansal on Friday, the day he had gone missing.
It was the call details on Bansal's phone through which the police zeroed in on a suspect identified as Sonu, and later arrested Deepak from Delhi. Deepak was in constant touch with Sonu on cellphone and the police traced him through technical surveillance.
"We were ready for the rescue operation. But on our way to Noida, Deepak confessed that Bansal has been killed," Ajay Chaudhry, additional commissioner of police (southeast) said.
Police said Deepak, Sonu and one Dilip were involved in the killing. While Deepak was arrested from Delhi, Sonu was arrested from Pratapgarh in UP.
"On Friday, Sonu was constantly calling Bansal and they exchanged over a dozen calls. Investigations have revealed that Sonu, who hails from Pratapgarh, was in Delhi since Thursday. Two of his friends were also in Delhi with him," said a senior police officer.
Police have come to know that Deepak's wife lives in West Delhi's Tilak Nagar.
"On Sunday night we contacted his wife and posted our men in the area in civvies. We asked his wife not to tell him that police were looking for him. On Monday morning, Deepak called his wife and came to Tilak Nagar's house from where he was apprehended," the officer added. Police said after committing the murder the trio immediately left for Pratapgarh but Deepak came back from Kanpur.
"They left in Bansal's car but abandoned it near Pari Chowk in Greater Noida. They all left for Pratapgarh but Deepak returned from Kanpur, as his wife was in Delhi," the officer said. Police said it was a planned murder and the trio had come to Delhi to execute their plan.