Person Found Inside Barrel in Drying Lake

A body that was dumped nearly 40 years ago in Lake Mead was unearthed over the weekend due to severe drought in the area.

According to KLAS-TV, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Lt. Ray Spencer said the victim was most likely killed in the 1980s, which investigators determined from evidence inside the container. Boaters reportedly found the barrel and body at around 3 p.m. Sunday, May 1.

Spencer said identifying the body is “going to take an extensive amount of work.”

One of the boaters, Shawna Hollister, told KLAS, “We heard a woman scream from the side of the beach and then my husband went over to obviously see what was wrong. And then he realized there was a body there in a barrel.”

Spencer told the Las Vegas Review-Journal his team is going to reach out to scientists at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas to help “solidify a timeline.”

The body is believed to have been dropped in the water, possibly from a boat. Spencer said, “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.”

He noted the barrel “did not move,” nor did it wash up to shore.

The drought has caused a large decrease in water level, and Lake Mead is one of two major reservoirs in the country. According to The Associated Press, Lake Mead and Lake Powell supply water to over 40 million people, but its drop in water level has created major cause for concern.

According to Spencer, there’s a “very good chance as the water level drops that we are going to find additional human remains.”

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