A fourth human body has been found in Nevada’s Lake Mead as water levels at the nation’s largest reservoir continue to drop to historic lows.
The latest skeletal remains were found Saturday at Swim Beach around 11:15 a.m. They are being examined by the Clark County Coroner’s Office to determine a cause of death, the National Park Service said in a release.
The grisly discovery follows similar human finds on May 1, May 7 and July 26. These include the body of a gunshot victim who had been stuffed inside of a corroded barrel, possibly in the mid 70s or early 80s, police have said.
The bodies’ discoveries have been blamed on an extreme drought that has left the shrinking reservoir filled to just 27% of its capacity, according to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and NASA.
The reservoir, which was built in the 1930s with the construction of the Hoover Dam, serves as a major drinking and irrigation source for the southwest. It’s also a recreational area that’s popular with boaters, the park service has said.
One former Las Vegas man recently came forward to suggest that one of the bodies found could belong to his father, Daniel Kolod, who drowned in 1958 near where one of the bodies was found in May.
“My grandfather, he did everything he could to find the body,” Todd Kolod told Las Vegas station KLAS of efforts to recover his father’s remains. “I just assumed finding the body was an impossibility.”
A Las Vegas dentist certified in helping identify remains from dental records told KLAS that the body found appears to be missing its front teeth, which would be similar to Daniel Kolod. Todd Kolod said his father lost his two front teeth in a car accident and that he wore a partial denture in the years before his death.
Todd Kolod said he hopes a DNA test will be able to confirm a match.