Idaho

Diver finds more human remains in Lake Mead, marking at least the sixth discovery this year

(CNN) — After a diver found what appeared to be a human bone in Lake Mead, the park searched the area and uncovered more human remains, the National Park Service confirmed on Wednesday.

The diver, who is a private contractor at Lake Mead National Recreation Area, found the bone Oct. 17 in the Callville Bay area of ‚Äč‚ÄčLake Mead, according to park spokeswoman Stefani Dawn. The next day, a park dive team searched the area and “confirmed the finding of human skeletal remains,” Dawn said.

The finds mark at least the sixth time human remains have been discovered at the lake this year, many of them due to the lake’s falling water levels due to prolonged drought. Some of the discoveries were only partial sets, so it’s unclear how many human remains were found.

The Clark County Coroner’s Office, which is handling the remains found this year, previously told CNN that coroners were still working to determine if the sub-sentences came from different people.

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

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

As a decade-long drought dries up the American West, Lake Mead’s water supply has suffered, causing the man-made reservoir’s shorelines to recede dramatically, exposing some remnants that were once submerged.

The first discovery came May 1 when a number of remains were found in a corroded barrel with an apparent gunshot wound, Lt. Jason Johansson of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Homicide Unit CNN in August.

Investigators quickly determined that the body belonged to a murder victim who died in the mid-’70s to early-’80s. Coroners have attempted to identify the person through DNA analysis, although the advanced decomposition of the remains makes identification difficult, according to Clark County Coroner Melanie Rouse.

Within a week of the murder victim’s remains being found, another set was discovered in the Callville Bay area. Coroners have since identified the remains as those of 42-year-old Thomas Erndt, who is believed to have drowned in the lake in 2002.

In the months that followed, four more discoveries were made, including at least two clusters of partial remains in the park’s popular Boulder Beach area.

Falling water levels have also uncovered relics, including sunken boats, a WWII-era landing craft, and ancient volcanic rock.

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