Climate change uncovers dark secrets when human remains are found in receding Lake Mead

By Joy Malbon, Head of Washington’s CTV National News Bureau

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Washington, DC (CTV Network) — “Where are the bodies buried? Climate change is showing us.”

If ever a title catches your eye, that’s it. Body? Climate change? Here is how the two are connected.

In the American West, the second largest man-made reservoir has fallen to historical lows due to a drought. The flowing water of the Colorado River meets Lake Mead, which is now drying up.

At low tide, dark secrets float to the surface after two sets of human remains were recently discovered.

Two sisters who were rowing in the Lake Mead National Recreation area stopped to explore a nearby sandbar when they came across what they thought was an animal.

“We found more and more bones,” Lindsey Melvin told a local news outlet, “and we found a jawbone and we realized it had to be a human.”

Another human remains were found just six days earlier. Sailors enjoying a day on the lake made another gruesome discovery, a rotting body inside a rusty metal vat.

Called in to investigate, Lt. Ray Spencer of Las Vegas Police told CNN: “We believe this was a gunshot wound homicide.”

The man was shot in the back of the head, he said. As they tried to identify the victim, other clues were the man’s clothes and shoes. They appear to be from the 1970’s or early 1980’s, and from a brand sold at K-mart.

Finding these bodies has reignited interest in Las Vegas and its sin city past, when the mafia ruled the strip.

If anyone is good at any of that, it’s Oscar Goodman. The former mayor of Las Vegas is also a lawyer who has defended mafia figures such as Anthony “Tony the Ant” Spilotro.

An enforcer for the Chicago mob, Spilotro was assigned to Las Vegas in the ’70s. Described as rebellious and short-tempered, actor Joe Pesci modeled his mob character in the film “Casino” in “Tony the Ant.”

Goodman wouldn’t speculate on who might be in the Lake Mead vat but said, “I’m relatively sure it wasn’t Jimmy Hoffa,” referring to a former labor boss who disappeared in 1975.

“They keep calling me asking, Oscar who did it?” Goodman told The Associated Press. “And I said how do I know who did it? I didn’t order it; I’ll tell you that,” he also told NBC.

All this makes the tongue wiggle. Two ex-cops who are now hosting a Las Vegas podcast are offering a $5,000 reward for qualified divers to find more barrels, and possibly more bodies in Lake Mead. David Kohlmeier told CTV News that the “Troubleshooter Show” has received several tips from the public including two related to the ‘mass’ connection. He also heard from families of missing persons including a father from Utah who disappeared in the 1980s.

“We just don’t really know, there are a lot of, you know, crazy people doing crazy things, be it in Las Vegas or anywhere else in the world.”

Kohlmeier hopes that the mystery surrounding the corpses will soon be solved to help close these cold cases. “So I definitely want to close all kinds of cases. People need justice, right? …or at least get some kind of closure.”

As water levels continue to drop during this great drought, many suspect what lies beneath Lake Mead won’t be hidden for long.

Kohlmeier said, “My hunch is that there may be more bodies.”

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