The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the discovery of a man’s body inside a 55-gallon drum at Malibu Lagoon on Monday.

Authorities say a park maintenance worker first saw the barrel floating near the Pacific Coast Highway bridge Sunday night.

“They got in a kayak to get it and brought it to shore,” said LASD Lt. Hugo Reynaga. “Apparently it was too heavy and they didn’t want to open it, so they left it on shore.”

When a lifeguard arrived at work Monday morning, they swam out to retrieve the barrel, pulled it to shore, and then opened the top and made the gruesome discovery, authorities said.

  • Body found inside barrel
  • Malibu Lagoon Body
  • Body found in drum
  • Malibu lagoon body

No information about the victim was immediately known. Authorities believe he had not been in the barrel for very long.

Sky5 footage showed the black plastic drum standing upright in shallow water with a section of the beach closed for the investigation.

Due to high tide, investigators believe it is possible the barrel was carried into the lagoon from the ocean.