The body was found in Brea at Brea Canyon Road, near Central Avenue, on Friday afternoon. From the outside, it doesn't appear suspicious. Police said a driver who pulled over and lifted the lid made the grim discovery.
"He decided today to stop and investigate. Once he stopped to investigate, he opened up the trash can and discovered a body inside the trash can. He immediately closed the trash can and contacted the Brea Police Department," said Lt. Jerry Brakebill.
Detectives got the call just after 3 p.m. Police say the witness, who was driving a white minivan, had noticed the curbside bin where it doesn't belong for the past week during his drive to work.
"There's a lot of brush on the side of the road and gravel. It's a wilderness area, but it is unusual. It's not a place where you would typically see a trash can," said Brakebill.
How long the victim had been there and the cause of death will be up to the coroner to determine. Police will also try to trace the garbage can to an exact address, in hopes of finding the murder suspect or suspects.
"The trash can is off in a gravel area, where potentially the suspect would've maybe pulled up and unloaded the trash can. Therefore, we're looking for tire marks and so forth," said Brakebill.
Authorities have not released the gender, race or age of the victim. An autopsy will likely be performed over the weekend.