Authorities are investigating the death of Javonnta Murphy, a 32-year-old California man whose body was found stuffed inside a barrel.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Murphy’s remains were discovered Monday at Malibu Lagoon State Beach, where a park worker first spotted the 55-gallon container floating in the water.
A lifeguard retrieved the barrel the following day, opened it on the shore, and saw an unclothed body inside. The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner went on to identify the man as Murphy, a Sylmar resident who was pursuing a career as a rapper/songwriter.
Authorities have not revealed any details about the cause of Murphy’s death, but a source told the Times that investigators suspect foul play. It’s also unclear how long the man’s body had been inside the barrel; however, his father, Javonnie Murphy, told NBC Los Angeles that he last saw his son on July 27—just several days before the barrel was first spotted.
“I’m a strong Black man, but this, this is hurtful. I just want to know why. He didn’t deserve it,” Javonnie Murphy said. “They were trying to get rid of him. They put him in a thing like that and threw him in the ocean. They were trying to get rid of him.”
According to the Times, Javonnta Murphy, a father of one, spent his time exercising and working on music. Javonnie Murphy insisted his son never had any behavioral issues growing up and was a great role model to his siblings. The outlet reports Javonnta Murphy had a few misdemeanors on his records, all of which were resolved with a plea deal.
“It just broke the whole family down. We are all hurting right now,” Javonnie Murphy said, before sending a message to his suspected killers. “We’re all hurting, and we want justice… The only thing I can say is you have got to answer to the man upstairs. You have got to answer to Him upstairs.”
Authorities said they believe the barrel originated from a printing company; however, they’ve yet to make any arrests in connection to the death. Stay tuned as more information about the case becomes available.