Man Survives Being Stabbed, Duct Taped and Thrown in a River

Police say the 20-year-old victim freed himself and got to shore; investigation is on-going.
8:45 | 08/27/14

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Transcript for Man Survives Being Stabbed, Duct Taped and Thrown in a River
Actually year old victim as well as did -- Other -- in the career of the man. Were taken out of the -- and home -- bodies were thrown into this beautiful river. -- along the east banks of the Schuylkill river by the retaining wall -- -- free on -- Kelly drive. Our twenty year old victim was -- -- to free himself. From the river and climb -- to the bank in the river and that's what. Police don't know -- Fun Philadelphia police this morning on the bizarre deadly kidnapping and attack on three men. Two of the victims did not survive three their bodies recovered late this morning by search teams I'm Michelle Franzen in New York. They're going to speak with ABC news crime and terror analyst Brad Garrett in just a moment first though the latest from WP BI Philadelphia's captain Scott. Early this morning the bodies of two unidentified men were pulled out of this -- river. They were bound and -- duct tape stuck to their face. There was a third victim who survived just before 4 AM police were called the 2300 block of Kelly drive and Paramount park. For report of a person screening in the road the twenty year old man was soaking wet he was only partially clothed -- had been stabbed multiple times. He also had duct tape -- -- -- He also was balanced by his wrists behind his back. He was also Brown's. His ankles were -- He told police fortified men abducted him from somewhere else in the city around 1 AM he said he was thrown into the back of the van blind fold -- stabbed and robbed. The two other victims were already in the back of the van when he got there. All three were driven to the river bank and thrown into the water but the twenty year old man was able to free himself in crawled ashore. The other she wore his lucky police say both of their bodies were weighed down also appeared to be -- -- tethered to some sort of piece of debris. Some sort of -- used as an anchor members of the crime scene unit and homicide detectives walked the river -- looking for tire tracks and other evidence people after their morning exercise were stunned to see a crime scene. In an area which is normally so serene. -- it's crazy I live right down the street here. Never saw the thing like this in the renovated and it makes you wary of makes you wonder what's the world coming so. Authorities are working to determine if and how all these victims are connected. And if he knew their -- still a lot of -- answer questions here this investigation is underway in Philadelphia Katherine Scott ABC news. And we're joined now by ABC news crime and terror analyst Brad Garrett. Himself a former FBI agent Brad you've investigated cases similar in nature to this before what's the first question you would have for the surviving victim. Connections to the other two now he apparently claimed she does not know them. But what world does he come from for example this has sort of class -- Ties to. Drug issues I'm not suggesting that's the case but for example. Drug dealers like to make examples. As do as do other criminals. And so were these three gathered up because of their involvement with another organization. Or -- particular organization. And they wanted to make a statement to the of the money. What was it but. If you look at sort of the method this -- as this occurred they brought duct tape they apparently had a band. They had something to -- them down they had something to restrain him. That sort of takes -- out of the round that it's just random people grabbing folks off the street to harm them. Possible would not likely so. I'm want to look for association. Between the three as far as connections to a potential bad guy. Or a group organization -- gang and as you noted police are likely trying now to determine if those victims were connected in any way and how do they also go about doing that. Aside from the crime scene -- -- What the history of the three people -- other words. We all have a track record every day we go to work or we commit crimes or we sell drugs or whatever we do. You start verifying. What they do and how they do it then within that you look at telephone numbers emails all of the things you look for in other cases. To look for connections or look for a common link. Of the three. Back to a potential suspect or maybe even suspects. Right now chief inspector small says the only potential motive is robbery that they're considering that investigators did -- something -- line. Would they be rushing to make it public. Well I you do have to be careful as to what you really have -- me I've made some suggestions. And that's just sort of -- investigative. Possibilities. He really have to look at you know could it be just some odd group of folks who want to harm folks scooping them up off the street. In doing these things in May -- but in the east you still have to look at the method. As I've -- a circle back to if in fact. Some sort of connection in some form between theory and small also spoke about how they found two of the victims dead in the river let's listen. The other two victims. Police did find some submerged. In this -- wherever they were under water however they were visible. They went about five to ten feet. Those bodies -- down -- feel for those bodies were obviously dead they were pronounced dead by firemen and paramedics. But does that suggest to you that the bodies were not totally submerged and relatively. Close together they wanted to be found and they wanted to make a statement. So -- -- both of those have occurred the bodies were found immediately. It creates quite a visual impression. To the rest of the world in particular to folks -- -- deal with this. These individuals who committed the crimes to say look don't mess with us if we asked you to do some -- you -- -- something you'd better pay -- So it's a sort of a classic if it falls and of that sort of purview is a classic. Sort of organized crime slash drug -- way. To get people to conform. To what they want. And with the suspects still at large how to police way keeping the public's aid in trying to bring the suspects out from wherever they might be hiding. Or is there any public concern should there be. Well there should because public concern if in fact this ends up being random obviously but short of that. These were targeted. Attacks and so as a result if -- part of the organization or group that deals with these individuals. You might be concerned. But short of that probably the rest of the folks in the community not so much and how important one last question will -- be to. Make sure that the surviving victim's account is credible. Well that's another key and he -- she doesn't know the other two is that really true. I mean they're going to have to confront the background of the surviving victim. Because he is the common link potentially to the other two. But in particular. To the bad guys and so that is a very long term probably. Numerous interviews with him. To ultimately get to the truth and also making sure he said that they were scooped up at 1:30 AM. At a certain location correct right and did that actually occur at that location. Does the beginning of this case in reality differ from what he said so. A key thing in any investigation is to corroborate what people tell you. First of all doesn't make any sense but secondly what can we do to corroborate his statement like the surveillance video. Like associations -- people he was with that night all of that will go together. To either -- veracity to -- sane or discount it. Very brutal -- disturbing crime ABC news crime and terror analyst Brad Garrett thank you very much. You can keep up with the story in real time by downloading the ABC news happens star in this story. For exclusive updates on the go for now I'm Michelle Franzen in New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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