Two of the four sets of human remains found in drought-wracked Lake Mead may be from the SAME person
Two of the four sets of human remains discovered in Lake Mead thanks to historically-low water levels could be from the same person, coroners said on Tuesday.
The bones and other fragments began emerging in May – first with a male body in a barrel. The person had been shot in the head, and a homicide investigation has been opened. It is believed the man was killed in the 1970s or 80s.
On May 7, a person believed to be aged between 23 and 38 was found at Callville Bay, and DNA samples were taken.
A man living in Spain, Todd Kolod, has said he is increasingly confident that set of remains is his father Daniel, who was killed in a speedboat accident on the lake in 1958, aged 22, and whose body was never recovered.
A third set of remains was found on July 26, at Swim Beach, and on Saturday a fourth set was unearthed at the same location.
‘At this time, the investigation into these remains includes working to determine whether the two sets of remains are from the same person or not,’ the coroner’s office said in a statement Tuesday.
The fourth set of remains (pictured) was discovered on Saturday at Swim Beach in Lake Mead. On Tuesday, the coroner said it could be the same person as was discovered on July 25
This is the third set of human remains to have been discovered at Lake Mead, on July 26. No further details about the remains – including the gender of the person, and how long they were in the lake – have been disclosed. Coroners believe this could be the same person as the remains discovered on August 6
People are pictured at Swim Beach in Lake Mead on Sunday – the day after the fourth set was found. The coroner is investigating whether Saturday’s remains belong to a person found on July 25
Two girls are seen at Lake Mead’s Swim Beach on Sunday
Swim Beach is pictured on Sunday, with water levels at an 80-year low
Christopher Orozco told Fox 4 that he and his family were visiting the lake to go for a swim on Saturday, when they found the bones sticking out of the sand under shallow water.
He said he took photos and videos of the bones before reporting them to the National Park Service.
‘We went in the water, one of my daughters said she saw something in the water she thought it was a bone,’ said Orozco.
‘I said okay let me go see. As I got closer I picked it up I noticed it was a bone like this big.’
The National Park Service confirmed that Orozco was the first person to report Saturday’s discovery.
According to NASA, water levels in Lake Mead are their lowest level since 1937. As of July 18, 2022, the lake was filled to 27 percent capacity
The identification of all the remains could take months, if not years.
Some of those who perished in the lake may be untraceable, as DNA sampling is a relatively new invention.
Police in Las Vegas are trawling their records of unsolved missing person cases, and have taken DNA from several families to see if answers can be found.
Kolod, who is eager to learn whether the second set is indeed his father, said at the weekend that he is yet to be asked for DNA, although he is keen to assist.
The set included bones with missing teeth that appeared to align with a partial denture Daniel had in his mouth.
‘With each clue, I always expect in my mind that it’s going to put us farther away from our goal, but consistently each clue is putting us closer, and this is like a bullseye,’ he told 8 News Now.
Kolod had hoped to identify his father by his teeth.
Daniel was in a car crash a few years before he drowned and lost his front teeth, so wore dentures.
Todd Kolod, pictured here with his father Daniel, was born in 1956, two years before his father died in Callville Bay
Todd Kolod thinks the second body may be that of his father Daniel Kolod, who fell from a speedboat that flipped when it struck by a wake during a fishing trip with a friend 64 years ago
A second body (pictured) was discovered in drought-hit Lake Mead reservoir a week after corpse was found in barrel exposed by lowest water levels
Teeth from a second body were discovered in drought-hit Lake Mead were discovered just a week after another body turned up in the reservoir
Journalists from 8 News Now took photos of the remains to Dr Deborah Staten, owner and dentist at Desert Hills Dental, who is certified in helping identify remains from dental records.
She said it is clear the skeleton is missing its front teeth, but she believes the person was missing other teeth before their death, suspecting some were recently removed.
Dental records have likely been destroyed in the intervening 60 years.
Kolod said he is keen to give a DNA sample as quickly as possible, to solve the mystery, but was frustrated at how long it was taking.
‘The pace of being contacted about a DNA sample – I’m starting to lose hope a little bit,’ he said.
‘Maybe this new finding lights something up.’
Around 300 people have drowned in Lake Mead since the 1930s but that does not include those whose bodies were never recovered, including Daniel Kolod.
Human remains, as well as sunken boats, including a World War II landing craft, and other items have been discovered at lake over the summer as the water level declines.
The first body was discovered in a barrel (pictured). The coroner said her office was continuing work to identify the man whose body was found May 1 in a rusted barrel in the Hemenway Harbor area
Little information has been made public about the discoveries. Investigators are scouring missing persons reports in an attempt to identify the corpses
Officials from Clark County are shown creating a perimeter around where the latest gruesome discovery was made at Lake Mead
Intake towers stand exposed in Lake Mead as water continues to dry up in the lake on the Arizona side of the Hoover Dam
According to NASA, water levels in Lake Mead are their lowest level since 1937
Lake Mead’s water level is at the lowest it has been in over 85 years
A formerly sunken boat sits on cracked earth hundreds of feet from the shoreline of Lake Mead at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area on May 10, 2022
The Lake, including a marina in Boulder City, Nevada (pictured) is shrinking as water retreats
The discoveries have prompted speculation about long-unsolved missing person and murder cases dating back decades – to organized crime and the early days of Las Vegas, which is just a 30-minute drive from the lake.
The drop in the lake level comes while a vast majority of peer-reviewed science says the world is warming, mainly because of rising levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
Scientists say the U.S. West, including the Colorado River basin, has become warmer and drier in the past 30 years.
About 40 million people rely on the Colorado River as their water supply, with Lake Mead and Lake Powell serving as the area’s primary reservoirs.
According to NASA, water levels in Lake Mead are their lowest level since 1937. As of July 18, 2022, the lake was filled to 27 percent capacity.
In June, Ann Willis of the Center for Watershed Science told the Washington Post: ‘In the last 1,200 years, we haven’t seen a period as dry as right now.
‘We’re really hitting new lows in terms of how extreme the conditions are.’
Lake Mead once sat 1,200 feet above sea level.
But after more than two decades of drought, it was at only 1,040 feet above sea level in July – its lowest level since filling in the 1930s.
It is currently falling about 12 inches every week.