Between climate drama and mafia crimes, the enigmatic Lake Mead in pictures

Lake Mead continues to unleash its macabre secrets. On Tuesday, the National Park Service announced the discovery of a fifth skeleton in the Swim Beach area, located between Nevada and Arizona. “Rangers have set up a perimeter to recover the remains with support from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department dive team. The Clark County Medical Examiner has also been contacted,” the statement read. In recent months, four other corpses have come to the surface of this lake whose water level is at its lowest due to the intense drought that is hitting the region.

1er May, a metal barrel in which was a corpse with a bullet wound, resurfaced on the edge of the bank. The investigation revealed that this crime probably dates back to the 70s or 80s. Seven days later, another body was found, also in a drum. Then, on July 25, partial human remains were recovered. On August 8, a fourth body was found in the same location. While some of these deaths may be accidental, others may be of criminal origin and may be linked to the mafia. Lt. Jason Johansson told CNN that rumors about organized crime are “mere speculation” at this time. He added, however, “Any time you have a body in a barrel, it’s obvious that someone else is involved.” “The underworld had a tendency to put people in cans, whether to put them in the lake or throw them in a field,” Geoff Schumacher, vice-president of the Mob Museum, the “Museum of the underworld” , from Las Vegas. Oscar Goodman, mob lawyer and eccentric former mayor of Las Vegas, told CBS that some of his former clients — he defended Anthony “Tony the Ant” Spilotro — were particularly invested in “climate control,” particularly in order to keep the water level of the lake at a high level. “Not a bad place to dump a body,” he commented.

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Water levels in Lake Mead – the nation’s largest reservoir – hit historic lows in the spring, and have fallen below the limit to supply Nevada residents since 1971. Lake Mead and Lake Powell in upstream are the largest man-made reservoirs in the United States, part of a system that provides water to more than 40 million people, tribes, agricultural and industrial areas in Arizona, California, in Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming and across the southern border in Mexico. On Tuesday, as the fifth body was found, authorities announced that Arizona and Nevada will face cuts in the amount of water they can draw from the Colorado River starting in January. The lake level was about 27% of its full capacity this summer. “Every sector in every state has a responsibility to ensure that water is used at maximum efficiency. In order to avoid a catastrophic collapse of the Colorado River system and a future of uncertainty and conflict, water use in the basin must be reduced,” the Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Water said. and science, Tanya Trujillo, in a statement.

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