Human Remains Found in Drought-Stricken Lake Mead ID'd as Man Who Disappeared in 1998

Skeletal remains have been discovered at the reservoir as water levels have dropped to historic lows amid drought.

FILE - A formerly sunken boat sits high and dry along the shoreline of Lake Mead
AP Photo/John Locher

Human remains found at diminished Lake Mead in Nevada have been identified as those of 52-year-old Claude Russell Pensinger, of Las Vegas, who disappeared in 1998, Clark County said in a statement Wednesday.

The remains were found on three different dates — July 25, Aug. 6 and Aug. 16 — but all were his, the office said. They were found on the shoreline of Boulder Beach, on the Nevada side of the huge reservoir north of Hoover Dam.

A cause of death was not determined, Clark County said in the statement.

An article in the Las Vegas Review-Journal from July 20, 1998, said Pensinger was fishing when he disappeared from his boat, which was found running in circles, the newspaper reported Wednesday.

As water levels at Lake Mead dropped, a number of sets of humans remains were found, including a series of discoveries starting last May.

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As the region experiences its worst drought in 1,200 years, 7 southwestern states have to curb their water usage from the Colorado River Basin and allow water levels to recover. Lake Mead and Lake Powell are both running low, LX News climate storyteller Chase Cain explains. Arizona will have to cut its water use the most.
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