Third set of human remains found as Lake Mead dries up near Las Vegas

Lake's water levels have hit record lows this year due to prolonged drought

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More human remains have been found in Lake Mead near Las Vegas, Nevada, the third set to be discovered this year.

Two other sets of remains were discovered in May at Lake Mead, whose water levels have hit record lows this year due to a prolonged drought in the area.

National Park Service rangers on Monday received a report of human remains that had been discovered at the lake's Swim Beach.

Rangers have set up a perimeter to recover the remains and the Clark County medical examiner has been contacted to determine the cause of death, the NPS reported, giving no further details.

A body enclosed in a barrel was discovered on the lake's shoreline in early May and another skeleton was found in Callville Bay a week later.

Investigators suspect the remains found inside the barrel was a murder victim who was killed in the 1980s, based on personal items found with the body.

The reservoir's water levels have plunged in recent months. As of Tuesday, Lake Mead's water level had hit about 317 metres — 13 metres lower than the level reported during the same period in 2020.

“I would say there is a very good chance as the water level drops that we are going to find additional human remains” at the bottom of the reservoir, police homicide detective Lt Ray Spencer said in an interview with KLAS earlier this year.

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

Updated: July 26, 2022, 4:26 PM