Minakshi Thapa, 26, left her Dehradun home and shifted to Mumbai two months ago to make it big in the film industry. She had met the two accused - Amitkumar Jaiswal, 36, and his friend Preeti Surin, 26 - during a film shooting last month, the police said.
According to the police, Jaiswal and Surin brutally killed Thapa by hacking her head off.
"They [the accused] disposed of her body in a water tank at Allahabad and threw her head out of a running bus," said Deven Bharati, additional commissioner of police, crime, adding that the two confessed to their crime after their arrest on Saturday.
Thapa had met Jaiswal and Surin on the sets of Madhur Bhandarkar's upcoming film 'Heroine' in March.
Jaiswal is a former lawyer and ran coaching classes in Allahabad while Surin was his employee. While Jaiswal came to the city in July last year, Surin joined him two months later. The duo also aspired to make a career in Bollywood, the police said.
According to the police, Thapa led them to believe that she came from an affluent family. In a bid to make quick money, the duo conspired to kidnap her and demand a ransom.
On March 12, they convinced Thapa that there was a modelling assignment for her and took her to Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh (UP), the police said.
Soon after, they sent her family SMSes asking for a ransom of Rs15 lakh. However, Thapa's mother could deposit only Rs60,000 into Thapa's account.
"Initially, Thapa was taken to Gorakhpur and then they took her to Allahabad where she was murdered," said Bharati.
Thapa's brother Navraj, an ex-army personnel, registered a missing person's complaint with the Amboli police station on March 17 while her mother registered a kidnapping complaint on March 20. The case was then transferred to the Mumbai crime branch (unit 9).
The crime branch officer questioned her neighbours at Suresh Nagar in Lokhandwala and got in touch with her friends. They learnt that Thapa was last seen with the duo, following which they traced them through their phones.
Police teams have been sent to UP to find her severed body.