Law enforcement officials arrested two men Wednesday in connection with the killing of a man whose badly decomposed remains were found in a barrel floating in Chula Vista’s marina two months ago.
Timothy John Cook, 52, and Derrick Jefferson Spurgeon, 38, were arrested after search warrants were served on two addresses: McIntosh Street in Chula Vista and Rios Canyon Road in El Cajon.
The Chula Vista Police Department (CVPD) said the men are accused in the homicide of Omar Medina, 28, whose body was found Oct. 12 stuffed in a 55-gallon drum floating in the San Diego Bay off the Chula Vista marina.
"My brother Omar was a very special man," the victim's sister said at a press conference after the announcement of the arrests. "He would tell me that we are a very special family because there was no hate in our hearts. I apply this today."
No further details were released, including how Medina was killed or why. The arrests of Cook and Spurgeon were made with help from the San Diego County and the United States Marshals Service, the CVPD said.
On Oct. 12, a diver spotted a plastic barrel with a hazard tag and a wireline attached to it, floating in the water off J Street and Marina Parkway. He called harbor police to report the object, saying he was concerned that it could be a navigational hazard.
When police pulled the barrel to the shore, they made a grisly discovery: a body was inside, 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.
Police had identified Medina as the victim in late November after an autopsy was completed -- about six weeks after his remains were discovered.
"Every day that he was lost, that he was missing, my family, friends, church members and I, we prayed that we would find him," Medina's sister said.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information on this case can reach out to the CVPD at (619) 422-TIPS.