Behind barbed wire, Saudi Arabia's flag flies atop the country's consulate in Istanbul. Turkish crime-scene investigators finished an overnight search of both residence and a second search of the consulate itself amid Ankara's fears that Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi was killed and dismembered inside the diplomatic mission in Istanbul. Picture: Lefteris Pitarakis/AP

Ankara, Turkey — A Turkish official says investigators are assessing the possibility whether the remains of missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi may have been taken to a forest in the outskirts of Istanbul or to another city, if and after he was killed inside the diplomatic mission earlier this month.

The official told The Associated Press on Friday that police have established that two vehicles belonging to the Saudi consulate left the building on October 2 — the day Khashoggi had walked into the consulate and vanished.

The official says one vehicle went to the Belgrade Forest outside Istanbul while the other travelled to the city of Yalova. It's unclear if police had already searched these areas.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity due to the secrecy of the ongoing investigation.

Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi speaks during a press conference in Manama, Bahrain, in 2015. Picture: Hasan Jamali/AP


Turkish police officers with a sniffer dog outside the residence of Saudi Arabia’s Consul-General, Mohammad al-Otaibi, in Istanbul, Turkey. Picture: Kemal Aslan/Reuters
Turkish forensic officers arrive at the Saudi consulate to conduct a new search over the disappearance and alleged slaying of writer Jamal Khashoggi, in Istanbul. Picture: Emrah Gurel/AP

AP