The bodies were found five feet from a retaining wall along the Schuylkill River, in five to 10 feet of water.
Police said a bucket was apparently used as one makeshift anchor. Next to one of the bodies brought ashore was a roofing cement bucket.
The survivor said at some point during the van ride he realized two other people were also in the back of the van with him, police said.
The surviving victim said he was abducted off of 62nd and Woodland, in the city’s Southwest section. They hoped to use surveillance video from that location to identify the van.
Autopsies were scheduled to determine if the two men died in the river or were already dead when they were thrown in the water. Their identities were not immediately known.
The area where the men were dumped off was near Kelly Drive in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park, which is a popular area for recreation. As the bodies were being recovered, boaters and runners passed the scene.