On Monday morning, July 31, lifeguards at Malibu Lagoon discovered a body inside a 55-gallon drum that was floating in the ocean, according to reports. Deputies are unsure how long the container and the body had been in the water.
County of Los Angeles Homicide Bureau Lt. Hugo Reynaga said they’re unsure about the age, but said the body was a Black male.
The homicide bureau arrived to the scene around 1:50 p.m.
Reynaga said the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriffs Station received the 911 call at about 10:10 a.m. Monday morning, about a person not breathing inside of a 55-gallon barrel.
Deputies spoke to the lifeguard on duty, who swam out to the lagoon and found the container Sunday afternoon at around 3 p.m. and was left on shore overnight.
“They got in a kayak to get it and brought it to shore and apparently it was too heavy and they didn’t want to open it, so they left it on shore,” Reynaga said. “When [the lifeguard] opened it, he found a lifeless body of a, we think it’s a male, but we don’t know. We don’t know race either, but he called 911, we responded, and we’re out here waiting on the coroner to get here.”
It was later determined the body was of a Black male. The age is still unknown.
Reynaga said they’re unsure if the coroner is going to investigate the body on the Malibu Lagoon beach or if they will remove the barrel, to reduce contamination.
Reynaga said they’re unsure if the barrel came from the lagoon or from the ocean.
“The barrel was floating in the middle of the lagoon this morning and apparently, at 8 p.m., you get a high tide here and water goes up and in the morning, water comes out of the lagoon, and back into the ocean, so that’s all we have right now,” Reynaga said.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the incident and has not yet released information about the person’s identity or cause of death.
Malibu Lagoon remained open while the investigation was ongoing and beachgoers were seen surrounding the area and curious about what happened. “Do Not Enter” signs were placed around the scene.
More information will be provided when it becomes available.