Coroners stated on Tuesday that two of the four sets of human remains recovered in Lake Mead as a result of record low water levels might be from the same individual.
The bones and other bits initially appeared in May, beginning with a male corpse in a barrel. A murder inquiry has been launched after the individual was shot in the head. The individual is said to have died in the 1970s or 1980s. On May 7, a person thought to be between the ages of 23 and 38 was discovered in Callville Bay, and DNA samples were collected. Todd Kolod, a man residing in Spain, has said that he is becoming more sure that the bones are those of his father Daniel, who was killed in a speedboat accident on the lake in 1958, aged 22, and whose corpse was never discovered.
A third set of remains was discovered on July 26 at Swim Beach, and a fourth set was discovered on Saturday at the same spot.
‘At this moment, the investigation into these remains is focusing on determining if the two sets of remains are from the same individual or not,’ stated the coroner’s office in a statement Tuesday. He claimed to have photographed and videotaped the bones before reporting them to the National Park Service.
‘We went in the water, and one of my girls stated she noticed something in the water that she believed was a bone,’ Orozco said.
‘I said, well, let me go see.’ As I went closer, I picked it up and discovered it was a large bone.’
The National Park Service verified that Orozco was the first to report the find on Saturday. It might take months, if not years, to identify all of the remains.
Because DNA sampling is a relatively new technique, some of individuals who died in the lake may be untraceable.
Las Vegas police are combing through their archives for unresolved missing person cases and collecting DNA from multiple families to see if answers can be discovered.
Kolod, who is eager to discover if the second sample of DNA matches his father, said over the weekend that he has yet to be asked for DNA, but he is happy to help.
The set comprised bones with missing teeth that looked to match Daniel’s partial denture.
‘With each clue, I always anticipate it to take us farther away from our objective, but each clue continuously takes us closer, and this is like a bullseye,’ he told 8 News Now.
Kolod had hoped to recognize his father via his teeth.
Daniel had been in a vehicle accident a few years before drowning and had lost his front teeth, so he wore dentures.
Journalists from 8 News Now photographed the remains and sent them to Dr. Deborah Staten, owner and dentist at Desert Hills Dental, who is qualified in assisting with the identification of remains through dental records.
She said that although it is obvious that the skeleton is lacking its front teeth, she thinks the individual was missing other teeth before to death and suspects that others were recently removed.
In the ensuing 60 years, dental records have most certainly been destroyed.
Kolod expressed his desire to provide a DNA sample as soon as possible in order to solve the mystery, but was upset by how long it was taking.
‘The rate at which I’m being called requesting a DNA sample is making me lose hope,’ he said.
‘Perhaps this new discovery illuminates something.’
Since the 1930s, around 300 individuals have drowned in Lake Mead, although this number does not include those whose corpses were never discovered, like Daniel Kolod.
As the lake’s water level drops this summer, human remains, sunken watercraft, including a World War II landing craft, and other objects have been unearthed.
The finds have sparked suspicion about long-unsolved missing person and murder cases spanning back decades, all the way back to organized crime and the early days of Las Vegas, which is just a 30-minute drive away from the lake.
The reduction in lake level occurs at a time when the great majority of peer-reviewed research indicates that the planet is warming, owing mostly to increased amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
According to scientists, the United States West, particularly the Colorado River basin, has gotten warmer and drier during the last 30 years.
The Colorado River supplies water to around 40 million people, with Lake Mead and Lake Powell acting as the area’s principal reservoirs.
According to NASA, Lake Mead’s water levels are at their lowest since 1937. The lake has reached 27 percent capacity as on July 18, 2022.
‘In the previous 1,200 years, we haven’t experienced a time as dry as right now,’ Ann Willis of the Center for Watershed Science told the Washington Post in June.
‘In terms of how terrible the circumstances are, we’re truly reaching new lows.’
Lake Mead was originally 1,200 feet above sea level.
However, after more than two decades of drought, it was just 1,040 feet above sea level in July, the lowest level since it was filled in the 1930s.
It is presently dropping around 12 inches every week.