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Body in barrel exposed as level of Nevada’s Lake Mead drops

LAS VEGAS (AP) – A body inside a barrel was found over the weekend on the newly exposed bottom of Nevada’s Lake Mead as drought depletes one of the largest United States reservoirs – and officials predicted the discovery could be just the first of more grim finds.

“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 police Lieutenant Ray Spencer told KLAS-TV on Monday.

Personal items found inside the barrel indicated the person died more than 40 years ago in the 1980s, Spencer said.

He declined to discuss a cause of death and declined to describe the items found, saying the investigation is ongoing.

Police plan to reach out to experts at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas to analyse when the barrel started eroding. The Clark County coroner’s office will try to determine the person’s identity.

Lake Mead drinking water Intake Number One seen above the surface level of the Colorado River reservoir, the uppermost of three in the deep, drought-stricken lake. PHOTO: AP