Lake Mead bodies: why are human remains being found in Nevada reservoir during drought - water level explained

Lake Mead’s water levels have been rapidly decreasing for the last two decades, with the lake fast approaching deadpool level

A fourth set of human remains have been found at Lake Mead, Nevada.

Authorities confirmed the discovery was made at the lake’s Swim Beach on Saturday 6 August.

Since May, remains have been turning up on the drought-stricken lake bed.

Questions have been raised about the lake’s connection to the organised crime days of Las Vegas, with the mysterious discoveries leading to plenty of theories.

Here’s everything you need to know about the human remains found at Lake Mead.

Four sets of human remains have been discovered at the drought-stricken Lake Mead (Pic: Getty Images)

Why do human remains keep appearing at Lake Mead?

Human remains are appearing at Lake Mead as the water level rapidly declines due to a drought.

According to Nasa, the lake, which is the largest reservoir in the United States, is currently at just 27% capacity.

The last time water levels were this low was in 1937, when the lake was first being filled.

Since its creation an estimated 300 people have drowned in Lake Mead, with not all remains being recovered.

Since water levels have decreased the lake has offered up other surprises including a sunken World War II landing craft.

How many bodies have been found at Lake Mead?

Four sets of human remains have been found at Lake Mead, with the lastest discovery taking place on 7 August.

Each set of remains was discovered by members of the public, who had been walking on the drought-stricken lake bed.

Here is a timeline of the human remains found on Lake Mead:

1 May, 2022

The first set of human remains were found by boaters in Hemenway Harbour.

The body, which was discovered inside a barrel, had been exposed by the shrinking water levels.

According to local police, the person had died as a result of a gunshot wound and was wearing clothes that resembled styles from the 1970s and 1980s.

There has been much speculation around the killing, with theories surrounding the nearby city of Las Vegas, which was known for its connections to organised crime.

The case is erily similar to the murder of John Roselli, a crime boss with ties to Las Vegas, whose body was found floating in a barrel in a bay outside Miami.

The human remains have yet to be identified, with homicide detectives currently investigating the case.

7 May, 2022

The second set of human remains was found in Callville Bay by two sisters out paddleboarding.

Speaking to the New York Times about their discovery the sisters said: “It wasn’t until I saw the jawbone with a silver filling that I was like, ‘Whoa, this is human,’ and started to freak out.”

Authorities believe the remains are from a person aged between 23 and 37-years-old.

The cause of death remains unknown and the human remains have yet to be identified.

25, July 2022

The third set of remains was discovered at Swim Beach.

The identity and cause of death is not known at this time and authorities have not released information on who found the remains.

6, August 2022

The fourth set of remains to be found were again located at Swim Beach.

In a statement the National Park Service said: “Park rangers responded and set a perimeter to recover the remains with the support from Las Vegas Metropolitan police department’s dive team. The investigation is ongoing.”

The identity and cause of death is not known at this time.

A formerly sunken boat rests on a now-dry section of lakebed at Lake Mead (Pic: Getty Images)

Why are Lake Mead water levels so low?

Lake Mead is a manmade reservoir, which was formed by the Hoover Dam on the Colorado River.

Nearly 25 million people across Arizona, Nevada and California are dependent on it for their water supply.

Water levels have been rapidly decreasing for the last two decades due to a drought that is gripping the western states of America.

The lake, which is only at 27% capacity, is fast reaching deadpool level, which is when water in a reservoir drops so low that it can’t flow downstream.

Speaking to Newsweek Steph McAfee, an Associate Professor, and Nevada State Climatologist at the University of Nevada, Reno explained the situation.

McAfee said: “There’s good evidence to suggest that climate change is playing a role here. A number of scientific papers have found that rising temperatures are reducing the amount of water flowing down the Colorado River and into Lake Mead.”