A man whose naked body was found inside a barrel in Malibu last week was shot in the head, a coroner has determined.

The man was previously identified by the Los Angeles County coroner’s office as 32-year-old Javonnta Marshann Murphy but no cause of death was given at the time. The coroner’s case information now lists the case as a murder and the cause of death as a gunshot wound to the head.

The circumstances that led to Murphy being shot and sealed inside a barrel remain under investigation by the Los Angeles County sheriff’s office.

The 55-gallon black plastic barrel was first spotted July 30 floating in a Malibu lagoon and brought in with a kayak by a maintenance worker, but it was not immediately opened.

The 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 but shortly after discovery, a sheriff’s spokesperson said it looked like a recent death. Officers speculated that due to the timing of the discovery, the body could have been washed into the lagoon by the high tide but the investigation is still ongoing.

Associated Press