2nd barrel found empty, police say

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — While working on the story of the discovery of a barrel that contained human remains at Lake Mead, the 8 News Now I-Team found a second barrel and alerted police.

Boaters discovered the body in the first barrel around 3 p.m. Sunday. The I-Team first reported the discovery on Sunday afternoon and new details about the discovery Monday.

The person, believed to be a man, is suspected to have been murdered in the late-1970s or 1980s, investigators said.

While at the lake Monday, the I-Team noticed a second barrel several hundred feet away from the site of the first — also onshore.

A closer look at the second barrel found near the site of Sunday’s discovery. (David Charns/KLAS)

The area is near the Hemenway Harbor boat ramp. Crews have had to extend the ramp a half-mile over the past decades to get it closer to the water.

In the 1970s and 1980s, what is now a beach would have been several dozen feet underwater.

A small hole in the second barrel revealed empty space, unlike the first barrel, which clearly showed a person along its entirety. The I-Team alerted police who said Tuesday the barrel was empty.

A body was discovered in a barrel on the shore of Lake Mead outside of Las Vegas on May 1, 2022. The photo shows the body took up most of the 55-gallon drum. (Shawna Hollister/KLAS)

As the I-Team has reported for years, Lake Mead was a popular dumping site for murderers. Police said they suspect they will find more barrels with bodies as the lake recedes.

“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 Metro police Lt. Ray Spencer said.

Lake Mead dropped below 1,056 feet in elevation last Tuesday, less than a week after hitting 1,057 feet the week before. Lake levels are expressed in altitude, not depth. At its highest levels, the lake is near 1,225 feet.

Police said they have received many tips about the person who was in the barrel.

Tips can be submitted anonymously through Crime Stoppers by calling 702-385-5555 or at crimestoppersofnv.com/report-a-crime. Information can also be sent via text by sending “CRIMENV” and then your message to “CRIMES” (274637). Crime Stoppers offers a reward for information that leads to an arrest.

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