Lake Mead’s third body was found
LAS VEGAS — Lake Mead‘s third body was found covered in with mud, where water levels have dropped as the Colorado River reservoir behind Hoover Dam recedes because of drought and climate change.
The National Park Service (NPS) was alerted to the presence of a dead body on a swimming beach in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area on July 25.
“Parking rangers are on site and have set up a perimeter to retrieve the remains,” NPS said in a statement. “The Clark County Medical Examiner has been contacted to determine the cause of death. An investigation is underway.”
She was partially covered in mud at the waterline in the swimming area along the beach north of Hemenway Harbor, Melanie Ross, a Clark County investigative physician, said Tuesday.
Ross said the gender of the deceased was not immediately clear, and it was too early to know the time, cause and manner of death.
Ross said investigators will review missing persons records as part of the effort.
Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the United States at full capacity, has experienced a massive drop in water levels due to the ongoing drought that has engulfed the western states.
It was filled to 27 percent of its full water capacity as of July 18, with the entirety of the Colorado River, which provides about 97 percent of Lake Mead’s flow, occupying 35 percent of its capacity.
Images taken by NASA Earth Observatory satellites show stark difference in the coast of the lake between 2000 and 2022.
The body was the third to be found since May as the shoreline recedes in the shrinking reservoir between Nevada and Arizona east of Las Vegas.
The surface of the lake has decreased by more than 170 feet (52 m) since the reservoir was filled in 1983. It is now 30% full.
The coroner said her office is continuing work to identify a man whose body was found May 1 in a rusty barrel in Hemenway Harbor and a man whose bones were found May 7 in a newly emerged sandbar near Calville Bay, more than 9 miles away. . (14.5 km) from the marina.