A man’s body was found inside a plastic barrel at a beach in Malibu, California, after a lifeguard spotted the unusual item floating offshore, officials announced.
The body was inside a 55-liter black drum, which was discovered at Malibu Lagoon State Beach, Lieutenant Hugo Reynaga with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said Monday.
Homicide investigators are examining the circumstances surround the death of the man, who was identified as a Black adult, the sheriff’s department said in a release.
Investigators do not yet know how long the body had been in the container, Reynaga said, adding it did not appear to be significantly decomposed.
There were no indications of blood spatter or other signs of violence, the lieutenant said.
A state park maintenance worker first spotted the large drum floating in the lagoon around 3 p.m. Sunday, Reynaga said. The worker retrieved the heavy barrel using a kayak and left it unopened on the shore, he said, but the high tide overnight swept it back into the water.
Around 10 a.m. Monday, the lifeguard swam out to get the barrel from the lagoon and opened it on shore, finding a “non-responsive” person inside, the lieutenant said. Paramedics and deputies were called to the scene and the man was pronounced dead on the beach, authorities said.
It is unclear how long the container had been floating in the lagoon before it was first retrieved, but the sheriff’s department has received several calls from people reporting that they saw it in the lagoon over the weekend, according to Reynaga.
The beach will remain open except for the crime scene, California State Parks spokesperson Jorge Moreno told CNN.