National Park Service Confirms Third Set of Human Remains Found at Lake Mead as Water Recedes

by Amy Myers

As Lake Mead continues to experience a drought, the receding water levels have revealed three gruesome discoveries. The National Park Service has confirmed that within the past three months, officials have found three sets of human remains in the Nevada water source.

The first discovery in Lake Mead occurred on May 1 after National Park Service staff received word of a barrel containing human remains. Officials set up a perimeter while CSI and the Las Vegas Metro Homicide Units led the investigation. Later reports stated that the remains likely belonged to a murder victim who succumbed to a gunshot wound. Judging from the clothes and shoes, investigators estimated that the person died “sometime in the mid ’70s to early ’80s.”

NPS rangers received a witness report of human remains discovered at Swim Beach of Lake Mead at approximately 4:30 p.m. PST on Monday, July 25.

Not one week later, another set of human remains washed up in Callville Bay area of Lake Mead National Recreation Area. The cause of death for this individual is not yet clear. However, the release did not report of any suspicions of foul play.

Lake Mead provides water from the Colorado River for more than 25 million people in  Arizona, Nevada, California, and parts of Mexico. It is also a major resource for some of the country’s most productive agricultural operations out West. Below Lake Mead, the Hoover Dam provides hydroelectric power to roughly 1.3 million residents in the same areas.

Las Vegas Police Says Body Discoveries in Lake Mead May Continue

Officials found the most recent set of remains on July 25. This time, the remains washed up at Swim Beach in Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Similar to the second set of remains, authorities have not yet revealed any details on the cause or circumstances of the death. It is not clear if the homicide team was a part of the investigation.

Currently, Lake Mead’s water level sits at just 1,040 feet which is 174 feet below what park staff considers full. This is the lowest level that the recreational area has seen since officials first filled the lake in the 1930s. In fact, the water is so low that in April, an intake valve placed in the 1970s became visible.

Because of how substantial the change in water level is, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Homicide Lt. Ray Spencer suspects that his team may be appearing at Lake Mead more in the future.

“The lake has drained dramatically over the last 15 years,” Spencer said in May, according to CNN. “It’s likely that we will find additional bodies that have been dumped in Lake Mead” as the water level drops more.