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Body found in Malibu barrel was up-and-coming rapper

Javonnta Murphy

Javonnta Murphy was 32 years old

Investigators are continuing their probe into the death of a 32-year-old man whose body was discovered inside a 55-gallon drum on a beach in Malibu.

The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s office has identified the man as Javonnta Murphy, reportedly a Southland up-and-coming rapper.

Authorities went to the 23200 block of Pacific Coast Highway about 10:30 a.m. July 31 after learning that a lifeguard spotted the drum in the ocean and brought it to shore, then opened it and saw the body inside it, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

A sheriff’s official told reporters at the scene that the same barrel had been seen in the water at Malibu Lagoon State Beach on the evening of July 30 by sanitation workers, but they were unable to retrieve it.

Anyone with information regarding this case was asked to call the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Anonymous callers may call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477 or send tips to