A fifth set of human remains has been found at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area east of Las Vegas, where the country’s largest reservoir is located, authorities said.
According to a news release from the National Park Service, the remains were discovered near the Swim Beach area of the lake, which sits between Nevada and Arizona, Monday at about 8 p.m. PDT.
It is the fifth time remains have been found in the area since May 1, KTVX reported.
The discovery comes a week after a fourth set of remains was found in the same area and three weeks since a third set was discovered, KSNV-TV reported. A drought in the western U.S. has forced the shoreline to recede at the reservoir, located on the Colorado River behind the Hoover Dam.
On May 1, a barrel containing human remains was found near Hemenway Harbor, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. Police believe the body was dumped in the lake either in the 1970s or 1980s.
Less than a week later, human skeletal remains were found at Callville Bay, according to the newspaper.
The discoveries have sparked speculation about unsolved missing person and murder cases dating back decades, the Review-Journal reported. That includes the possibility of deaths tied to organized crime in Las Vegas, which is 30 minutes from the lake.
The reservoir’s levels dipped to historic lows this year amid a drought, falling to 1,041 feet on Saturday, according to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. Dead pool -- when low levels prevent the water from flowing to a dam -- would occur at 895 feet, ABC News and NBC News previously reported.
According to the NPS news release, park rangers have set a perimeter to recover the remains with support from Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s dive team. The Clark County Medical Examiner has also been contacted.
The agency said the investigation is ongoing and that no further information would be released.
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