More human remains have been discovered in the drought-afflicted Lake Mead, a week after a body in a barrel was exposed by the lake’s plunging water line.
The National Park Service (NPS) said rangers were contacted around 2pm on Saturday after a witness spotted the skeletal remains at Callville Bay. Rangers set up a perimeter in order to recover the body.
The Clark County Medical Examiner is investigating to determine the cause of death and working to identify the person. Sources told KLAS that they do not suspect foul play.
The grim discovery came a week after a barrel containing the remains of a homicide victim was discovered at the Nevada lake.
A prolonged megadrought in the American West caused the reservoir’s water levels to plunge to historic lows, and is unearthing some grim finds.
Las Vegas Police were called to reports of a barrel containing human remains at Lake Mead National Recreation Area at around 5.45pm on 1 May.
“We believe this is a homicide as a result of a gunshot wound,” said Homicide Section Lt. Ray Spencer.
Detectives believe the victim was killed sometime in the mid ’70s to early ’80s, based on clothing and footwear the victim was found with.
Police have not released the victim’s identity.
The lake’s level has dropped so much that the uppermost water intake at drought-stricken Lake Mead recently became visible.
The American West is suffering from a two-decade megadrought that is being exacerbated by the climate crisis.
The reservoir on the Colorado River behind Hoover Dam has become so depleted that Las Vegas is now pumping water from deeper within Lake Mead, which also stretches into Arizona.
Lake Mead reached its high-water mark in July 1983, at 1,225 feet (373.4 meters) above sea level. The level 10 days ago was 1,055 feet (321.6 meters) — around a third full.
Lake Mead, along with Lake Powell upstream, are the largest human-made reservoirs in the US and part of a system that provides water to more than 40 million people, tribes, agriculture and industry in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico , Utah, Wyoming and across the southern border in Mexico.