Multiple bodies found as lake drops to record lows from drought

Two bodies have been found within a week as water levels for Nevada's Lake Mead reach record lows during the ongoing drought.

Published May 10, 2022 5:04 AM CDT   |   Updated Mon, May 30 2022 8:28 PM CDT
1 minute & 58 seconds read time

Rangers from the National Parks Service (NPS) have received reports of human remains found in Nevada's Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

Multiple bodies found as lake drops to record lows from drought 01

An ongoing drought has resulted in all-time low water levels, resulting in human remains turning up on two separate occasions in the last two weeks. On May 1st, a body was found inside a barrel that appeared as the lake dried up. On May 7th, around 2 p.m. EST, a second body was found, potentially the victim of a Las Vegas mob murder.

"The water level has dropped so much over the last 30 to 40 years that, where the person was located, if a person were to drop the barrel in the water and it sinks, you are never going to find it unless the water level drops. The water level has dropped and made the barrel visible. The barrel did not move. It was not like the barrel washed up," said Homicide Lt. Ray Spencer of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police.

Lake Mead is located in Nevada, which is experiencing the current driest year to date in the past 128 years. The entire state is experiencing at least a D2 - Severe Drought designation according to the U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM), with 51.7% of the state classified as at least D3 - Extreme Drought, and 8.3% classified the highest level of drought at D4 - Exceptional Drought.

For the first time since 1971, the water level has dropped low enough that the uppermost drinking water intake is now visible. Two more intakes are lower down in Lake Mead, which provides the drinking water supply for 90% of Las Vegas.

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