Lake Mead Body is My Dad’s, Says Las Vegas Native

In May 1958, Daniel Kolod, 22, was riding in a speedboat on Lake Mead with a friend when they hit a wake. Both men were tossed into the water. One never made it out.

Police declared Kolod drowned in Callville Bay. His body was never recovered. But Todd Kolod, 67, is now thoroughly convinced that the second body found this spring on the freshly exposed bottom of Lake Mead belongs to his father. It was found on May 7, 2002 in Calville Bay.

Daniel Kolod, who drowned in Lake Mead in 1958, holds his new baby Todd in 1955. Now 67, Todd believes the second body found at Lake Mead this spring is his father’s. (KLAS)

Police and park officials already declared the manner of death not suspicious. This week, the Clark County coroner’s office revealed the deceased person’s age at the time of death: between 23 and 38.

“With each clue, I always expect in my mind that it’s going to put us farther away from our goal, but consistently, each clue is putting us closer, and this is like a bullseye,” Todd, who lives in Spain, told KLAS-TV’s I-Team investigators this week.

Another clue involves is the skeleton’s missing front teeth. Daniel Kolod lost his in a car accident a year before his drowning and wore a partial denture, Todd told KLAS.

Couldn’t Find the Body

Witnesses said they saw Daniel Kolod drown in Callville Bay, according to the KLAS story. The boat the two men were riding in was found circling on its own about a mile from the drowning site. But a search for the body yielded no results.

“My grandfather, he did everything he could to find the body,” said Todd, who was 3 when his father drowned. “I just assumed finding the body was an impossibility.

According to Todd, the coroner’s office has yet to make contact with his family to obtain a DNA sample.

“I’m starting to lose hope a little bit,” he told KLAS. “Maybe this new finding lights something up.”

Remains Not Remaining

On May 1, 2022, remains in Lake Mead became international news after boaters discovered the first of a continuing series of bodies inside a corroded metal barrel under Hemenway Harbor. Along with the coroner’s office, homicide police are investigating the case of a man they believe to have been murdered by a gunshot to the head sometime from the mid-’70s to early ’80s.

On July 25, 2022, a third set of remains was found partially submerged in mud at Swim Beach, a small recreation area along the Boulder Basin. That person’s death is not considered suspicious.

Lake Mead is now at 30% of full capacity. This is its lowest level since it was first filled by the completion of the Hoover Dam in 1935. Two decades of slowed snow runoff into the Colorado River has been cited as a major contributory factor.

Lake Mead is the largest US reservoir. It provides water to nearly 20 million people in California, Nevada, Arizona, and some of Mexico. The lake was last considered full in 2000, when its water level was 1,214 feet. It has fallen 174 feet since then, leaving an eerie white bathtub ring of calcium and other minerals formerly dissolved in the water along its walls.

“As water levels recede and fluctuate, it is possible that artifacts that we do and don’t know about may emerge; including human remains from previous missing person reports,” the park service wrote in a statement.

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