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Drought-hit Lake Mead reveals more human remains as shoreline retreats

Discoveries prompted speculation about missing person and murder cases dating back decades

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Lake Mead's surface has dropped more than 170ft (52m) since the reservoir was full in 1983. Photo: John Locher/AP

Lake Mead's surface has dropped more than 170ft (52m) since the reservoir was full in 1983. Photo: John Locher/AP

Lake Mead's surface has dropped more than 170ft (52m) since the reservoir was full in 1983. Photo: John Locher/AP

More human remains have been found at drought-stricken Lake Mead National Recreation Area east of Las Vegas, authorities said.

It is the fourth time since May that remains have been uncovered as drought forces the shoreline to retreat at the shrinking Colorado River reservoir behind the Hoover Dam.

National Park Service officials said rangers were called to the reservoir between Nevada and Arizona around 11am local time on Saturday after skeletal remains were discovered at Swim Beach.

Rangers and a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police dive team went to retrieve the remains.

Park Service officials said the Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office will try to determine when and how the person died as investigators review records of missing people.

On May 1, a barrel containing human remains was found near Hemenway Harbour. Police believe the remains were that of a man who died from a gunshot wound and the body was likely dumped in the mid-1970s to early 1980s.

Less than a week later, authorities say human skeletal remains were found at Callville Bay.

More recently, partial human remains were found in the Boulder Beach area on July 25.

Police have speculated that more remains may be discovered as the water level at Lake Mead continues to recede.

The discoveries have prompted speculation about long-unsolved missing person and murder cases dating back decades – to organised crime and the early days of Las Vegas, which is just a 30-minute drive from the lake.

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The lake surface has dropped more than 170ft (52m) since the reservoir was full in 1983.

The drop in the lake level comes while science says the world is warming.


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