Divers find more human remains in Lake Mead, at least sixth discovery this year


The National Park Service confirmed Wednesday that more human remains were found in a search of the area after a diver found what appeared to be human bones in Lake Mead.

The diver, a private business operator at Lake Mead National Recreation Area, discovered the bone on Oct. 17 in the Callville Bay area of ​​Lake Mead, according to park spokeswoman Stefani Dawn. The next day, a park dive team searched the area and “confirmed the discovery of human skeletal remains,” Dawn said.

The discovery marks at least the sixth time this year that human remains have been found in the lake, many of which have been caused by the lake’s declining water levels due to a prolonged drought. Some of the finds are only partial collections, so it’s unclear how many people’s remains were found.

The Clark County coroner’s office, which handles the remains found this year, previously told CNN that forensics are still working to determine whether some of the remains came from different people.

It is unclear whether the bones found on October 17 and the remains found on October 18 belong to the same person.

“At this time, there is no suspicion of foul play,” Dawn said. “The Clark County Coroner’s Office has been contacted to confirm the identity of the deceased.”

As a decades-long drought swept across the western United States, Lake Mead’s water supply was affected, causing the man-made reservoir’s shoreline to recede sharply, revealing some of the remnants of what was once submerged.

The first discovery was on May 1, when a group of remains were found in a corroded barrel with apparent gunshot wounds. Jason Johnson of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Squad told CNN in August.

Investigators quickly determined that the body belonged to a homicide victim who died in the mid-1970s and early 1980s. Clark County Coroner Melanie Rouse said forensics have been trying to identify the person through DNA analysis, although the advanced decomposition of the remains made identification challenging.

Another body has been found in the Callville Bay area within a week of the homicide victim’s remains. Forensics have since identified the remains as those of 42-year-old Thomas Erndt, who is believed to have drowned in a lake in 2002.

Four more finds were made in the following months, including at least two sets of partial remains from the popular Boulder Beach area of ​​the park.

The drop in water also uncovered relics, including shipwrecks, World War II-era landing craft and ancient volcanic rocks.

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