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More human remains discovered at Lake Mead days after body found in barrel

The remains were exposed as the levels of Lake Mead continue to drop amid a historic drought in the Southwest.

More human remains have been found at Lake Mead, a large reservoir near Las Vegas, Nevada. 

Just days after other skeletal remains were discovered in a rusted barrel at the lake, these most recent remains were reported on May 7 at Callville Bay in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, according to a press release from the National Park Service. 

The NPS said they were working to recover the remains, and the Clark County medical examiner was contacted to determine the cause of death. The investigation was ongoing.

This marks the second time in about a week that human skeletal remains have been discovered at Lake Mead, which extends across the border between Nevada and Arizona.

Earlier this month, a woman walking along the lake’s shoreline came across a barrel that contained human bones. The remains, reported to the police on May 1, were found with a gunshot wound, leading detectives to believe this was a homicide, according to a statement from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. 

The alleged victim was believed to have been killed sometime in the 1970s or 1980s based on the clothing and footwear they were found wearing. Police were working to identify the remains. 

There is no indication as to whether the remains reported on May 1 and May 7 are linked in any way.

These remains were discovered as Lake Mead’s levels continue to drop due to a decades-long drought, dubbed a "megadrought," in the southwestern U.S.

As of last August, Lake Mead’s water levels had dropped to just 35% of the reservoir's full capacity, according to a report from NASA’s Earth Observatory. Last summer, the Bureau of Reclamation also declared a water shortage at Lake Mead. 

Lake Mead Falls To Lowest Level Since Hoover Dam's Construction
A white ring of mineral deposits shows where water levels previously reached at Lake Mead, according to the National Park Service.Ethan Miller / Getty Images

Lake Mead is the largest reservoir in the country by volume, providing water to millions of people and industries in Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, California, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming and parts of Mexico, according to the Associated Press

As the levels of Lake Mead continue to fall, more areas that were previously underwater are being exposed.