LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The estimated age of a person whose remains were discovered at Lake Mead has a Las Vegas native even more confident that the skeleton could be his father who died more than six decades ago.
As the 8 News Now I-Team first reported in June, Daniel Kolod was 22 when he drowned in Callville Bay in 1958. His body was never recovered. Todd Kolod, Daniel Kolod’s son, was 3 years old when his father died. He now lives in Spain.
The Clark County coroner’s office suspects Callville Bay Doe, the name the office has given the remains, is estimated to have been between 23 and 38 years old at his or her time of death, a spokesperson confirmed Wednesday.
“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 Kolod said Wednesday.
In May, kayakers discovered the skeletal remains in the bay on the north side of the lake. Police and park officials determined the death was not suspicious.
A week before, as the 8 News Now I-Team first reported, boaters discovered a body in a barrel. Police said the person was shot and ruled that person’s death a homicide. Last week, a third set of remains was found floating in the lake. That person’s death is not considered suspicious.
Daniel Kolod was on a speed boat with a friend when they hit a wake. Both men flipped and fell into the water. Only one survived.
Witnesses found the boat circling on its own about a mile from the drowning site near Swallow Bay, documents reviewed by the I-Team said. Onlookers said they saw Danielle Kolod drown in Callville Bay. Crews, including divers and a helicopter, never found his body.
The area where Daniel Kolod is believed to have drowned was about a mile from shore in 1958.
One clue surrounds Daniel Kolod’s teeth. He was in a car crash a few years before he drowned and lost his front teeth, Todd Kolod said, adding his father wore a partial denture. In June, the I-Team brought photos of the remains and Daniel Kolod’s story to Dr. Deborah Staten, owner and dentist at Desert Hills Dental. Staten is certified in helping identify remains from dental records. Oftentimes, teeth are the last resort in trying to identify the victim of a crime because bones do not decay.
Staten said it is clear the skeleton is missing its front teeth, but she believes the person was missing other teeth before their death, suspecting some were recently removed.
Simply based on the photos, Staten could not go any further. The key, she said, is finding Daniel Kolod’s dental records, but it is almost certain they were destroyed.
Water levels at Lake Mead have dropped drastically since their peak levels first reached in the 1940s and then again in the 1980s. The lake dropped below 1,040 feet in elevation on Thursday – nearly 200 feet below the elevation when it is full.
The coroner’s office has not followed up with the Kolod family to get a sample of their DNA, Todd Kolod said. A spokesperson for the office said investigators had pulled DNA from the skeletal remains and from the body discovered in a barrel.
“The pace of being contacted about a DNA sample – I’m starting to lose hope a little bit,” he said. “Maybe this new finding lights something up.”
Tips can be submitted anonymously through Crime Stoppers by calling 702-385-5555 or at crimestoppersofnv.com/report-a-crime. Information can also be sent via text by sending “CRIMENV” and then your message to “CRIMES” (274637). Crime Stoppers offers a reward for information that leads to an arrest.