Lake Mead: more human remains found at drought-stricken reservoir

Rangers have received reports of 'human skeletal remains' at reservoir facing plunging water levels

More human remains were discovered at Lake Mead at the weekend, less than a week after a barrel containing a possible murder victim was discovered at the body of water located near Las Vegas, Nevada.

Rangers first received a witness report of the discovery of “human skeletal remains” at Callville Bay at Lake Mead on Saturday afternoon, the National Park Service said in a news release.

A rusted metal barrel, near the location of where a different barrel was found containing a human body, sits exposed on shore during low water levels due to the western drought at the Lake Mead Marina on the Colorado River. AFP

A perimeter was constructed to allow authorities to recover the remains.

The Clark County medical examiner has been contacted to help determine the cause of death, the agency said, and added that there is “no further information available at this time”.

This is the second in recent weeks that human remains have been discovered at Lake Mead, whose water levels are hitting record lows.

A barrel containing human remains was first spotted by boaters on May 1, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police said.

Upon opening the barrel, authorities discovered the remains of a possible murder victim. They stated the person was probably killed in the 1980s based on personal artefacts found inside the barrel.

“We believe this is a homicide as a result of a gunshot wound,” Lt Ray Spencer of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police said in a statement.

Authorities said more bodies would likely be found as Lake Mead's water levels continue to drop.

The reservoir's water levels have plunged in recent weeks. As of Monday, Lake Mead's water level was about 320 metres above sea level — the lowest water level recorded at the reservoir since it was filled in 1930, CNN reported.

Formed during the construction of the Hoover Dam on the Nevada-Arizona border, the reservoir is the largest in the US.

More than 40 million people rely on water provided by the Lake Mead and upstream Lake Powell, The Associated Press reported.

Updated: May 10, 2022, 4:39 AM
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