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Body in barrel in Lake Mead was man who had been shot decades ago, Las Vegas police say – CBS News

Las Vegas police believe a body found inside a barrel in the newly exposed bottom of Lake Mead was that of a man who had been shot.

Homicide Lt. Ray Spencer also said Tuesday that shoes worn by the man were manufactured in the middle and late 1970s, indicating that the killing likely occurred between the middle 1970s and early 1980s, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

Police previously said they thought the remains probably dated from the 1980s.

Boaters spotted the barrel Sunday afternoon and the National Park Service was alerted.

Shawna Hollister told KLAS-TV in Las Vegas that she and her husband were docking their boat when they heard a woman scream. They then saw the body, which also had a shirt and belt visible.

The barrel might have been visible due to Lake Mead’s low water level from ongoing drought. Drought has dropped the water level of Lake Mead on the Colorado River in southern Nevada and northern Arizona so much that Las Vegas’ uppermost water intake became visible last week.

The Clark County coroner’s office will try to determine the man’s identity.

Lake Mead and Lake Powell upstream are the largest human-made reservoirs in the U.S., part of a system that provides water to more than 40 million people, tribes, agriculture and industry in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming and across the southern border in Mexico.

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