For the second time in a span of six days, human remains have been found at Lake Mead.
Last week a body in a barrel was discovered at the reservoir.
The barrel was discovered on May 1 and was likely a murder victim who died from a gunshot wound “some time in the mid ’70s to early ’80s, based on clothing and footwear the victim was found with,” according to a news release from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police.
Then on Saturday afternoon remains were found in Callville Bay.
As of Monday, Lake Mead’s water level was around 1,052 feet above sea level – roughly 162 feet below its 2000 level. It’s the lowest level on record for the reservoir since it was filled in the 1930s.
The lake’s low water level exposed one of the reservoir’s original water intake valves in April for the first time. The valve had been in service since 1971, but it can no longer draw water.
“The lake has drained dramatically over the last 15 years,” Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Homicide Lieutenant Ray Spencer said, noting “it’s likely that we will find additional bodies that have been dumped in Lake Mead” as the water level drops more.”
The Colorado River and its two largest reservoirs — Lake Mead and Lake Power – supply water to about 40 million people in the West.At Lake Powell, federal officials announced unprecedented emergency steps last week to keep more water in that reservoir — and preserve the Glen Canyon Dam’s ability to generate hydropower — rather than sending it downstream to Lake Mead.
“We have never taken this step before, but the potential risk on the horizon demands prompt action,” Assistant Secretary of Water and Science Tanya Trujillo told reporters last week. “We need to work together to stabilize the reservoir before we face a larger crisis.”