Diver finds body in barrel floating in San Diego Bay

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CHULA VISTA, Calif. – A decomposed body was found stuffed inside a sealed barrel chained to a block in the San Diego Bay Thursday, police said.

Around 12:30 p.m., a diver saw the 55-gallon drum floating in the water about 200-feet from shore in South San Diego Bay, Chula Vista police said. The barrel was chained to a cinder block.

Investigators removed a barrel containing human remains from a Harbor Police boat on October 12, 2017.

Harbor Police and CVPD towed it to Chula Vista Marina off J Street and Marina Parkway.

An unusual odor was coming from the barrel, police said. When it was opened, human remains were found inside.

The age and gender of the person was unknown, CVPD captain Eric Thunberg said.

Police mentioned they received a report of a floating barrel in the same area around 10:30 a.m., but weren’t able to find it or contact the person who initially reported it.

San Diego County Medical Examiner loaded the barrel onto a truck around 5 p.m. They will determine the cause of death and help in identifying the person.

Albert Molina went to the marina Thursday worried the body may be his friend, 28-year-old Omar Medina, who went missing about two weeks ago in Chula Vista.

“You want to hope for the best but two weeks not hearing from him or anything, you begin to wonder, is he still alive,” Molina said. “We’re praying. At this time we just want closure for the family, for the mom. We hope it’s not him and we hope he’s out there still.”

Police said it’s too early to speculate about who the victim is and there is no indication there is a link to Medina.

If the remains cannot be identified, police will work with the Medical Examiner’s office to check a missing persons database for leads.

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