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Tuesday, September 27, 2022
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Third Drought-Exposed Body Found in Vegas’ Lake Mead


A barrel containing human remains was discovered in Nevada’s Lake Mead over the weekend as a historic drought grips the West. Homicide investigators believe the body was placed in the barrel in the 1980s. | Image by Shawna Hollister

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A third body was discovered at Lake Mead outside of Las Vegas on Monday after water levels dropped to historic lows as the region suffers its worst drought in decades.

Lt. Ray Spencer, a member of the Las Vegas Police Department’s homicide division, said that as long as the water level continues to drop in the reservoir, “it’s likely that [they] will find additional bodies that have been dumped in Lake Mead.”

As reported by The Dallas Express, Las Vegas detectives in May found the body of a male who died from a gunshot wound, potentially giving further credence to the murder being mob-related. Shortly after the body in the barrel was found, another corpse was noticed. In that case, however, no signs of murder were identified.

Geoffrey Schumacher, vice president of exhibits and programs at the Mob Museum in Vegas, explained that there is “a long history of the mob using this technique to get rid of bodies. They dump them, they…put them in barrels and dumped them in the ocean or a river or a lake. This goes back to the late 1800s. It’s just something that has been a thing.”

On Monday, National Park Service Rangers immediately cordoned off the area, and the county medical examiner prepared to examine the corpse. This is the third body found since May, leading to more comprehensive investigations.

The ongoing drought has caused the Las Vegas lake’s water level to fall to its lowest recorded levels, meaning significant portions of the lakebed which were once under water are now visible. In addition to bodies, many other items have been uncovered, including a World War II-era Higgins landing boat similar to the vessels used during the D-Day invasion.    

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1 month ago

May found the same in any waters. Not surprising at all.