2 Men Arrested In Connection To Body Found In Barrel In Malibu


B| Officials stand next to a barrel where a body was discovered in Malibu Lagoon State Beach, California on July 31, 2023. A body stuffed in a barrel was discovered July 31, 2023 on Malibu Beach, a swanky Californian hotspot beloved by the rich and famous, police said. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images) F| Mugshot for Jonathan Simmons. (Photo via; Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. )

OAN’s Abril Elfi 
3:01 PM – Saturday, October 28, 2023

Police have arrested of two individuals in connection with a body discovered in a barrel at Malibu Lagoon State Beach.


The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department announced the arrest of Joshua Lee Simmons, 37, and Dennis Eugene Vance, 41, in connection to the murder of their alleged acquaintance Javonnta Marshann Murphy.

According to the sheriff’s department, a person at the beach discovered the 55-gallon drum containing 32-year-old Murphy drifting along the coast at the 23200 block of Pacific Coast Highway on July 31st

Lifeguards dragged the barrel ashore, discovering Murphy’s naked body.

Investigators also said that the victim was shot, killed, then stuffed inside the barrel.

Simmons has been charged with murder and previously had made headlines after an unsuccessful attempted jewelry store robbery in El Monte on September 9th that was foiled by the shop’s owners.

One video posted to X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, the store employees beat him with a stick and chased him out of the business.

Vance was charged with one count of Accessory After the Fact in connection to the murder.

Simmons’ next court appearance is slated for November 3rd.

Anyone with information on the case is encouraged to contact the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500 or call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS as well as have the chance to submit information online.

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