Police Reveal How and When the Person Whose Body Was Found in Barrel at Lake Mead Was Killed

Authorities matched the clothing found inside the barrel to a well-known retailer

Lake Mead
Lake Mead. Photo: George Rose/Getty

A person whose remains were found in a corroded barrel in Lake Mead, Nevada over the weekend is thought to have been killed decades ago.

The unidentified person in the barrel, who is believed to be a man, was discovered by boaters on Sunday afternoon, according to local Las Vegas news outlet KLAS.

Detectives believe the victim was killed some time in the mid-70s to early 80s, based on the clothing and footwear the victim was found with, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said in a news release on Tuesday.

"The victim's clothes and shoes were sold at Kmart in the mid-to-late 1970s," Metro Police Homicide Lt. Ray Spencer told KLAS.

"We believe this is a homicide as a result of a gunshot wound," Lt. Spencer added in the LVMPD's news release.

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The identification of the victim will be released by the Clark County Coroner's Office when it becomes available, police said in the release.

The decades-old barrel is also believed to have originally been about 100 feet underwater and "several hundred" yards from shore, Lt. Spencer told Fox5 Las Vegas.

"The water level has dropped so much over the last 30 to 40 years that, where the person was located, if a person were to drop the barrel in the water and it sinks, you are never going to find it unless the water level drops," Lt. Spencer said in an interview Monday via the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Added Lt. Spencer: "The water level has dropped and made the barrel visible. The barrel did not move….It was not like the barrel washed up."

Anyone with any information about this incident is urged to contact the LVMPD Homicide Section by phone at 702-828-3521, or by email at homicide@lvmpd.com. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers by phone at 702-385-5555, or on the internet at www.crimestoppersofnv.com.

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