Human Remains Found Near Lake Mead Identified

Human Remains Found Near Lake Mead Identified

( – The drought in the West has absolutely devastated farmers and ranchers. Lake Mead in Nevada has receded to a historic low. That loss of water has led to some gruesome discoveries. So far, at least six sets of human remains have been found in the receding waters. Recently, authorities identified one of them.

In October 2022, a Lake Mead National Recreation diver operator discovered a human bone near Callville Bay. A subsequent search of the area turned up more remains for the same person. On March 28, The Associated Press reported the Clark County coroner announced the man was identified as Daniel P. Smith through DNA testing.

The 39-year-old went missing in April 1974 in the lake behind the Hoover Dam. Authorities have ruled his death an accidental drowning.

Other remains found last year included an unidentified man whose body was found shoved inside a barrel in Hemenway Harbor. Authorities later said the man died from a gunshot wound. In a statement, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said the man likely died in the mid-1970s to early-1980s based on the clothing he was wearing. There is speculation the killing might have been related to organized crime, but law enforcement has not confirmed anything. Four other sets of remains have yet to be identified.

Lake Mead is located about 30 miles east of Las Vegas. The Hoover Dam formed the lake, which is the largest reservoir on the Colorado River. It’s a critical source of water for about 25 million people in the western states. Experts have said rising temperatures and a lack of rain have left it in a critical state. It’s unclear when the lake will begin to fill up again, but officials are closely monitoring the situation.

Police ask anyone with information about the remains found in the barrel are asked to contact the Homicide Section at [email protected] or at 702-828-3521.

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