The naked dead man found crammed inside a large drum at a beach in Malibu, California, last week was shot in the head, officials said.
The investigation into the mysterious death is ongoing after the Los Angeles County coroner’s office identified the man as 32-year-old Javonnta Marshann Murphy.
While no cause of death was released Wednesday when the body was identified, the case information now lists the cause of death as a gunshot wound to the head, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday.
Murphy was sealed inside a 55-gallon black plastic barrel that was first spotted on July 30 floating in a Malibu lagoon.
A maintenance worker brought the barrel out of the lagoon but it was not immediately opened.
The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department said the barrel was opened July 31 by a lifeguard at Malibu Lagoon State Beach who had retrieved it after it washed back into the lagoon.
It was not known how long the body had been in the drum, and the circumstances that led to Murphy’s death remained unclear.
Murphy had grown up in South Los Angeles with four brothers and was an aspiring rapper, family friend Patrick Nelson told the newspaper.
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