San Diego County

Man Found Dead in Barrel Identified by Fingerprints, Tattoo: ME

Timothy Cook, 52, is accused in the killing of Omar Medina, 28

An autopsy report reveals new details in the grisly death of a man whose body was found inside a barrel floating in the Chula Vista marina.

Omar Medina's body was found Oct. 12 stuffed in a 55-gallon drum floating in the San Diego Bay.

Medina, 28, was stabbed dozens of times from his scalp to his chest, according to the San Diego County Medical Examiner.

According to an autopsy report released Monday, Medina was identified in late November in part by fingerprints and the tattoo of a five-pointed star on his left ankle.  

Arrests in the case would follow three weeks later.

NBC 7's Artie Ojeda reports the latest update on an investigation into a body that was discovered within a drum in the Chula Vista Marina Thursday.

A diver spotted the white metal barrel with a hazard tag and a wireline attached to it, floating in the water off J Street and Marina Parkway. The diver reported the object to San Diego Harbor police, saying he was concerned that it could be a navigational hazard.

When police pulled the barrel to the shore and opened it, they spotted a hand and a brown fuzzy blanket, according to the autopsy report.

The body inside was so badly decomposed that the San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office said the remains could take a while to identify.

The barrel appeared to be tied down with cement blocks. Police believe a metal chain may have also weighed it down before it broke loose and surfaced at the marina. Police said there was no rust on the barrel, so it was likely in the water for only a few days before it was discovered.

The medical examiner's report documented stab wounds to Medina’s nose, mouth, jaw, scalp and neck as well as his wrists, hands and fingers.

There were 15 stab wounds to the left chest and 21 stab wounds to the back, according to the report. Investigators said it was difficult to determine the paths of the wounds because there were so many of them so they described them as a cluster.

Toxicology test results show alcohol, amphetamines and cannabinoids in the victim’s system. However, the alcohol may have been generated after Medina's death.

Derrick Spurgeon, 38, and Timothy Cook, 52, were arrested for their alleged involvement in the death of Medina.

Spurgeon faces a charge of accessory to murder. Cook was charged with one count of murder Friday and faces 87 years to life in behind bars if convicted. 

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