Human remains found in Lake Mead setback identified as man who drowned two decades ago, officials say

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Erndt’s remains, found in the Callville Bay area of ​​the lake on May 7, have been identified through investigative information, DNA analysis and reports of the initial incident, according to a news release from the Clark County Office of Communications and Strategy.

The 42-year-old Las Vegas man reportedly drowned on August 2, 2002, authorities said, although the official cause and manner of death were not determined as of Wednesday.

Erndt’s remains are one of at least three sets of human remains discovered since May at the lake, where water levels have dropped to unprecedented lows as the drought crisis persists in the West.

Other remains found include a body in a corroded barrel with a gunshot wound, officials said previously. This case is being investigated as a homicide. Those remains, dubbed Hemenway Harbor Doe by the coroner’s office, belonged to a person who died in the mid-1970s to early 1980s, police say.

More recently, authorities recovered partial human remains from the Boulder swimming beach in Lake Mead in mid-August. It was the third time officials have found remains in this area, although it is unclear whether the three discoveries at Boulder Swim Beach were all from one person or from separate individuals. The Clark County coroner has been working to determine if the first two discoveries in this area, which were both partial remains, are from the same person, a county spokesperson previously told CNN.

The process of identifying human remains found in the lake has been difficult due to advanced stages of decomposition, making it difficult to extract DNA for identification. The Clark County Coroner’s Office uses X-rays, fingerprints, forensic dentistry and analysis by forensic anthropologists to learn more about a body, police and the coroner said. Clark County, Melanie Rouse, to CNN.

Dinosaur tracks from 113 million years ago discovered due to severe drought conditions at Dinosaur Valley State Park
Lake Mead is the nation’s largest reservoir straddling the Nevada-Arizona border and serves approximately 25 million people in Arizona, Nevada, California and Mexico. Recently, lake levels plunged to record lows amid a mega-drought fueled by the impacts of human-caused climate change. At its peak in 1983, Lake Mead was 1,225 feet above sea level. But since this summer, the level has been around 1,040 feet, or about 27 percent of its full capacity.
The falling water level revealed other things in the lake, including a sunken ship from World War II and the reservoir’s original inlet valve from 1971.

Elsewhere, falling water levels led to the revelation of dinosaur tracks around 113 million years ago in a Texas park after parts of a river bed dried up completely as the State was facing extreme drought conditions and heat waves this summer.

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