Summer is churning up more than the heat this year.
This past Monday, two hikers in Malibu Creek State Park found human remains in an area of the park with heavy foliage.
According to the Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station Watch Commander, the body was found approximately 400 feet down from Malibu Canyon Road.
It was located nearby an abandoned and destroyed vehicle, which the sheriff speculated had run off the road into the park.
The car had been investigated by deputies last year, but the body was not discovered at that time. It is not yet known if the remains are linked to the car crash.
This discovery comes just a week after a naked man’s body was found stuffed into a floating 55-gallon drum in Malibu Lagoon.
The drum was spotted floating along the coastline on July 30 by a sanitation worker. He tried to drag it out of the water but could not handle it because of the weight.
The next day a lifeguard saw the barrel and swam out to retrieve it, opening it due to the suspicious weight.
The man inside was identified as 32-year-old rapper Javonnta Murphy of Sylmar. Cause of death was determined to be a gunshot to the head and the case is now declared a murder.
Motive for the killing is not known, but the Sheriff’s Department is investigating the possibility it was a retaliation hit for the murder of rapper Pop Smoke.
Murphy’s brother Jaquan Murphy was one of five people arrested after Smoke was killed in his home in 2020. He was charged with attempted murder but was later cleared after a 15-year-old later admitted to shooting Smoke. Murphy is still awaiting trial for another unrelated murder.
Javonnta also has a criminal past with charges of battery and domestic violence, and police are looking into that angle as a possible motive.
A family friend said, however, that he was a “good kid.”
“He didn’t gang-bang. What happened to him, I just don’t understand,” Patrick Nelson told the L.A. Times. “Whatever happened to him, whoever did it, I wish they could have solved it in a different way – different than that way”