A man’s body was found in a barrel at Malibu Lagoon State Beach on Monday morning, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

The department received a report around 10:30 a.m. of a 55-gallon barrel being found on the beach. Inside the barrel was a body, said sheriff’s Lt. Jack Jordan.

KTLA-TV reported that a lifeguard found the body but The Times was not able to confirm who discovered it.

Homicide investigators are handling the case, according to Jordan. A Sheriff’s Department spokesperson said the case is being treated as a homicide, because the body was found in a closed barrel, and further information would be released later.

A spokesperson for the city of Malibu referred questions to law enforcement. A representative with California State Parks declined to comment.

Former Malibu Mayor Jefferson Wagner said the barrel was about 400 yards northwest of the Malibu Pier, across from the historic Adamson House, a National Historic Site.

Wagner, who has owned Zuma Jay’s Surf Shop for decades, said this was the first time he could recall anything like this happening in the community.

“This is not what happens in Malibu,” Wagner said. “Deeply disturbed. This is not a common occurrence. I mean, bodies in a barrel is just sad.”

This is a developing story.

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