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TV Crew Makes Second Mysterious Discovery Near Barrel That Contained Human Remains in Nevada Reservoir

A KLAS-TV crew from Las Vegas, Nev., discovered a second rusted barrel not far from where a first barrel contained human remains.

A KLAS-TV crew from Las Vegas, Nev., discovered a second rusted barrel not far from where a first barrel contained human remains.

A television crew found a second suspicious barrel near the shore of a Nevada lake while investigating a first barrel that contained human remains.

As Law&Crime previously reported, boaters on Lake Mead, a popular reservoir for fun-seekers about 45 minutes east of Las Vegas, discovered the first rusted metal barrel near the edge of the depleted body of water on Sunday afternoon. Low water levels in the lake exposed the long-hidden barrel; it had rusted open and clearly contained bones, a shirt, and a belt, according to a witness who was present for the grisly discovery. The authorities say the remains appeared to be those of a man who was wearing clothing sold by Kmart in the late 70s. The victim had been shot to death, likely in the late 70s or early 80s, the authorities told several local news organizations.

A television crew with Las Vegas CBS affiliate KLAS found a second barrel in the vicinity and alerted the police, but the TV station said the authorities confirmed that the second suspicious barrel was empty.

The second barrel turned up “several hundred feet away from the site of the first,” the television station said, near the Hemenway Harbor boat ramp.  That ramp is one of the most accessible portions of the lake near Interstate 11 on the lake’s westernmost lobe — the side of the lake closest to Las Vegas.  The lake’s total shoreline is listed in some reports at around 750 miles.

The TV station said the area — which it described as a “beach” — would have been “several dozen feet underwater” in previous years.  The boat ramp itself has been extended half a mile so that pleasure craft can reach the water.

Lake Mead is at its lowest level since 1937, when the Hoover Dam impounded the waters of the Colorado River, USA Today recently reported. The water is currently at an elevation of 1,055 feet, or about 30% of the lake’s capacity when full, the newspaper said.  KLAS said the lake is around 1,225 feet when it’s full.  Lake levels in the manmade reservoir are measured based on elevation, not depth, KLAS noted.

Lake Mead

A “bathtub ring” is visible during low water levels due to the western drought on July 19, 2021 as seen from the Hoover Dam at Lake Mead, near Las Vegas. – The Lake Mead reservoir formed by the Hoover Dam on the Nevada-Arizona border provides water to the Southwest, including nearby Las Vegas as well as Arizona and California, but has remained below full capacity since 1983 due to increased water demand and drought, conditions that are expected to continue.  (Photo by Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images.)

The remains in the barrel were discovered Sunday in the lake which provides drinking water to 40 million people.

“Lake Mead was a popular dumping site for murderers,” KLAS reported.

“I would say there is a very good chance as the water level drops that we are going to find additional human remains,” Las Vegas Metro police Lt. Ray Spencer told the television station.

Spencer said earlier in the investigation that the barrel containing the remains was likely dropped from the previously full lake straight t0 the bottoms where it turned up. The barrel did not suddenly become dislodged and wash ashore.

The police told KLAS they’ve received “many tips” about the victim who was in the first barrel.

[featured image via KLAS screeengrab]

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Aaron Keller holds a juris doctor degree from the University of New Hampshire School of Law and a broadcast journalism degree from Syracuse University. He is a former anchor and executive producer for the Law&Crime Network and is now deputy editor-in-chief for the Law&Crime website. DISCLAIMER:  This website is for general informational purposes only. You should not rely on it for legal advice. Reading this site or interacting with the author via this site does not create an attorney-client relationship. This website is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney. Speak to a competent lawyer in your jurisdiction for legal advice and representation relevant to your situation.