The body found in a barrel at the bottom of Nevada’s drought-hit Lake Mead is that of a man who was shot, police confirmed Tuesday.
Homicide Lieutenant Ray Spencer told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that, based on the shoes on the skeletal remains, he believes the murder probably occurred in the mid-1970s and early 1980s.
Sailors on the lake spot an old rusted barrel on Sunday afternoon. National Park Service rangers participating in the area discovered the human remains.
Spencer said the shoes the man was wearing were sold at Kmart in the mid-1970s.
He also told KLAS-TV earlier this week that the police were prepared for similar findings in the future.
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“I would say there is a very good chance as the water level drops that we are going to find additional human remains,” he said.
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Spencer told Nation World News that the barrel may have been dropped hundreds of meters from the boat, but because the lake had fallen so low at that time, the area is now considered a shoreline.
Lake Mead and Lake Powell upstream are the largest man-made reservoirs in the US, part of a system that provides water to more than 40 million people, tribes, agriculture, and industry in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah . Across the southern border into Wyoming and Mexico.
The water level in the lake has gone so low that the water at the top of Lake Mead became visible last week.
The reservoir on the Colorado River behind the Hoover Dam has shrunk so much that Las Vegas is now pumping water from deep within Lake Mead, which also extends into Arizona.
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Shawna was enjoying a day at Hollister Lake when the barrel was discovered.
“We heard a woman scream from the side of the beach and then my husband clearly saw what was wrong,” Hollister told KLAS-TV. “And then he realized that there was a dead body in a barrel.”
Local coroners are working to identify the person whose body was found.
, With files from The Associated Press
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