Suspect Arrested in Body of Man Found Inside Drum on Malibu Beach

Suspect Arrested in Body of Man Found Inside Drum on Malibu Beach

Officials stand next to a barrel where a body was discovered in Malibu Lagoon State Beach, Calif., on July 31, 2023. (Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)

City News Service
City News Service


Updated: 10/27/2023


MALIBU, Calif.—A suspect has been arrested in connection with the killing of a man whose body was discovered in a 55-gallon drum on a beach in Malibu, authorities said Oct. 27.
According to KCAL 9, Joshua Simmons was arrested and charged with murdering 32-year-old Javonnta Murphy, who was found inside the drum on July 31 at the 23200 block of Pacific Coast Highway.
A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department official told reporters at the scene that the drum had been seen in the water at Malibu Lagoon State Beach the previous night by sanitation workers, but they were unable to retrieve it.
A lifeguard spotted the same barrel the following morning and was able to bring it to shore, then opened it and saw the body inside.
Sheriff’s homicide investigators determined that Mr. Murphy was shot, killed, and stuffed inside the barrel.
Mr. Simmons, 37, was arrested on Oct. 3 and is being housed at the Men’s Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles, according to county jail records.
KCAL reported that Mr. Simmons was also involved in an attempted jewelry store robbery in El Monte on Sept. 3.
It was not immediately known on what charge Mr. Simmons was being held but according to KCAL, law enforcement authorities confirmed he had been charged with murder.
His next court date is scheduled for Nov. 3.
Anyone with information on the case was urged to call the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tipsters may also call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS, or use the website.

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