A Winnipeg courtroom heard details on Monday about the murder of Chad Davis, whose body was found stuffed in a barrel and floating in a river.

Chad Davis

The remains of Chad Davis, 22, were discovered inside a barrel that had been floating near the shoreline of the Lee River in July 2008. (Police handout)

The remains of Davis, 22, were found wrapped in industrial-style plastic inside the barrel that surfaced on the Lee River northeast of Winnipeg, near Lac du Bonnet, in July 2008.

He had been reported missing nearly six months earlier after being last seen on Prince Rupert Avenue in Winnipeg's  East Kildonan area.

The trial began on Monday for two men charged with first-degree murder in Davis's death, Cory Tymchyshyn and Kristopher Brincheski.

Court of Queen's Bench Justice Brenda Keyser is hearing the case and a jury of six men and six women will decide the fate of the two men, who both had calm, neutral looks on their faces throughout the first day of testimony.

As the trial got underway, Crown prosecutors Keith Eyrikson and Brent Davidson alleged that Davis was a cocaine dealer and trying to collect on an $18,000 to $28,000 drug debt owed to him by Tymchyshyn.

On Monday afternoon, RCMP Cpl. Maria Forester told the court about the state of Davis's remains after they were found in the barrel.

Davis had a black cord around his neck, Forester testified, adding that he was wearing a black jacket with a Versace label and a ball cap with a rhinoceros on it. 

Two men out fixing a dock in cottage country discovered Davis’s remains.

They told CBC News at the time that the barrel had been floating in the Lee River for a couple of weeks before they decided to retrieve it and pry it open.

After making the horrific discovery, they immediately called RCMP.

The trial is expected to last up to six weeks.