Decades-old human remains in barrel found as Lake Mead recedes — and there could be more: report
The level of Lake Mead - as seen in July 2021 from Boulder City, Nevada - has been steadily declining due to a chronic drought(AFP)

On Monday, the Los Angeles Times reported that skeletal human remains from roughly 40 years ago have been found in a barrel as the water line of Lake Mead in Southern Nevada receded to record lows — and that there are likely still more bodies under the surface that will be exposed by the water crisis.

"The receding waters at Lake Mead, the country’s largest manmade reservoir, have dropped to historic lows. The levels are so shallow that a barrel containing skeletal remains was found Sunday immersed in mud, reports KLAS-TV in Las Vegas," reported Nathan Solis. "Based on personal items found in the barrel, police think it has been at the bottom of the lake since the 1980s. Lt. Ray Spencer with the Las Vegas Metro Police told the news station the person was likely killed four decades ago and was found around 3 p.m. Sunday by boaters."

Lake Mead, the reservoir created by the Hoover Dam, is an essential body of water that serves Las Vegas and the farmland in neighboring Arizona and California.

Spencer added that it will be difficult to identify the remains — and that there are probably more.

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"'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?' Spencer said," the report continued. "A photo of the skeleton in a partially exposed barrel was shared with the news station. An official with the Clark County Coroner’s Office said the department could not comment on the investigation. Police said they would reach out to outside experts, including at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, to help identify the remains."

So far, the drought has caused Lake Mead to recede to 150 feet below its usual levels. It is now so low that some of the higher up intake pipes have been exposed.

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