12:30 PM PDT, May 5, 2022
Police believe a body found in a barrel by boaters on Lake Mead belongs to a man who was shot in the late 1970s or early 80s, authorities said this week.
Investigators determined the man’s shoes were sold at Kmart and manufactured in the 1970s, he said.
The grim discovery was made Sunday by visitors to Lake Mead, where water levels are severely low, caused by climate change and an unprecedented drought. The massive source of drinking water is bordered by Arizona and Nevada.
“The water level has dropped so much over the last 30 to 40 years that, where the person was located, if a person were to drop the barrel in the water and it sinks, you are never going to find it unless the water level drops,” Spencer told the paper in a Monday interview.
“The water level has dropped and made the barrel visible. The barrel did not move … It was not like the barrel washed up,” he said.
The Clark County Coroner’s Office is trying to identify the remains, police said.
The man-made reservoir’s water level has dropped some 160 feet since 2000. The lake is currently at its lowest level since it was filled in 1935.
“We don’t have enough water supplies right now to meet normal demand. The water is not there,” Metropolitan Water District of Southern California spokesperson Rebecca Kimitch said this week. The agency told about 6 million customers in sprawling Los Angeles, Ventura and San Bernardino counties to contain outdoor watering to one day a week, effective June 1, or face stiff fines.