A dead man found in a barrel in rural Victoria had amphetamine and possibly GHB in his system, two broken ribs and a "liquefied" brain, a court has been told.
The decomposed remains of David Whimpey, 30, were found in April at a Mia Mia property, six months after he disappeared.
His cause of death remains unknown.
Brendan Abela, 31, and Brendan Stanley, 46, have been charged with murdering the Albanvale man at Hoppers Crossing on October 24, 2016.
Mr Whimpey was last seen near a hotel at Keilor about 10pm, and his body was eventually found some 100km away.
Abela and Stanley faced Melbourne Magistrates Court on Wednesday for a committal hearing to determine if they will stand trial over the alleged murder.
DNA from Mr Whimpey and the two accused men was found on handcuffs in a car linked to Abela, the court was told.
Amphetamine was found in Mr Whimpey's liver and hair, and it is claimed he may have been affected by depressant drug GHB.
Forensic pathologist Sarah Parsons told the court Mr Whimpey's brain was liquefied due to decomposition when his body was examined.
That meant she was unable to look for evidence of a stroke.
Mr Whimpey had two rib fractures, but it was unclear whether they were sustained before death, Dr Parsons said.
Mr Whimpey's brother Daniel also gave evidence on Wednesday, telling the court he had a conversation with Abela, who said he was "disappointed in David for ripping him off".
Forensic toxicologist Maria Pricone told the court she wasn't able to test for the presence of GHB as there were no suitable specimens - blood or urine - available from Mr Whimpey's remains.
She agreed an overdose of GHB could lead to death, but could not comment on Mr Whimpey's case.
The committal hearing before magistrate Donna Bakos is expected to conclude on Thursday.