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Lake Mead Drought Exposes More Human Remains

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A rusted metal barrel sitting on exposed shore during low water levels due to the western drought at Lake Mead on May 5, 2022. | Image by Patrick T. Fallon, AFP via Getty Images

Lake Mead — located 40 miles northeast of Las Vegas, Nevada — has dropped its total capacity, a new low since it was filled during the Great Depression in the 1930s.

Due to its critical levels, authorities have been forced to pump more deeply into the reservoir.


Fox News reports more human remains were discovered at Lake Mead on May 7, following last week’s discovery of different human remains in a barrel at the newly exposed bottom of the lake. 

As the pumping continues, human remains continue to be discovered on what was once the lakebed of a megadrought-ravaged Lake Mead. Many people wonder if more bodies will be found and if the circumstances of their deaths will be revealed.

According to KIRO News, the most recent remains were discovered around 2 p.m. Saturday by two sisters paddleboarding in the Callville Bay area of the lake. Lake Mead, a reservoir formed by the Hoover Dam on the Colorado River, is the largest water reservoir in the United States.

“At first, I thought it was a bighorn sheep, and then we started digging around a little bit,” Lindsey Melvin told CBS News in Las Vegas. “As we discovered the jaw, we realized it was human remains, and that’s when we contacted park rangers to come and investigate.”

As word spread that the ebbing tides of Lake Mead were revealing corpses, speculation swirled about how they got there. With Las Vegas’ history of mob activity, the lake is now rumored to have been used as a dumping ground for corpses. The rumors spread increasingly after the barrel with a skeleton inside was discovered on May 1.

According to Lieutenant Ray Spencer of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s (LVMPD) homicide division, the body belongs to a male gunshot victim.

“Had the water not receded so far, we’d never make the discovery of this victim,” Spencer told FOX5 Las Vegas.

Based on the victim’s clothing and shoes, the man could have been in the lake as early as the mid-1970s or early 1980s.

If DNA from the remains can be extracted, the LVMPD’s homicide team will try to identify the victim and the circumstances of his death, Spencer said.

It may take months to obtain a DNA match. Spencer stated that authorities would use genealogical data to see if police can connect any potential DNA with any living family members so we can begin our investigation.

Investigators are also trying to figure out when the man was murdered. Spencer stated that they might seek assistance from experts at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, or the FBI Laboratory in Quantico, Virginia. Using expert analysis, they hope to assess the metal’s erosion or the sea life growth on the barrel to place a more accurate timeline for the barrel and the victim.

CBS News reports Spencer predicted more bodies would be found as Lake Mead continues to dry up.

“I think anybody can understand there are probably more bodies that have been dumped in Lake Mead, it’s just a matter of, are we able to recover those?” he said.

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Mike
Mike
12 days ago

Jimmy Hoffa?

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