For the second time in two weeks, a body has been found in Malibu.

On Aug. 7, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) reported two hikers in Malibu Canyon found skeletonized remains in the Malibu Creek State Park.

The area is extremely rugged with heavy foliage and the body was found near a destroyed vehicle. The vehicle was known to authorities and had been marked about a year and half ago but hadn’t been well examined.

LASD said it was too early to know if the body was connected to the vehicle. Both the Los Angeles County Coroner and the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau are investigating.

The new discovery comes after the body of Javonnta Marshann Murphy was found sealed in an oil drum on Malibu beach. Murphy’s death has been ruled murder with the coroner saying he was shot in the head.

The Los Angeles County sheriff’s office is investigating the circumstances surrounding Murphy’s shooting and confinement in the barrel. The barrel, a 55-gallon black plastic one, was initially spotted floating in a Malibu lagoon on July 30 and was eventually opened on July 31 by a lifeguard at Malibu Lagoon State Beach. The duration the body spent in the barrel remains unknown, but initial indications suggested he was sealed in the barrel shortly after his death. Investigators are considering the possibility that high tide might have washed the body into the lagoon, although the investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with information on either case is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (8477) or use the website

Matthew Hall has a Masters Degree in International Journalism from City University in London and has been Editor-in-Chief of SMDP since 2014. Prior to working at SMDP he managed a chain of weekly papers...