One of the many human remains found at Lake Mead may belong to a veteran who drowned and saved his wife’s life, the family said.
Kenneth Funk was 56 when he died after diving into the Nevada Basin after his wife was thrown from their pontoon boat on June 19, 2004.
The sinking waters of Lake Mead and a mega drought have led to the discovery of the four remains in the late stages of decomposition.
“The fact that these remains show up, if he is, I want to do the right thing and take care of him,” Funk’s daughter, Jessica Condon, told KLAS.
The day before Father’s Day in 2004, Funk was on Lake Mead with his wife Annette and two other family members when a wave hit their pontoon.
His wife was thrown into the water without a life jacket, prompting Funk to turn off the engine and jump after her.
She took off her life jacket earlier to change her shirt.
“He gave her the life jacket, and they were in the water together, and he stepped on water for as long as he could,” Condon said.
Tragically, Funk could no longer tread water and drowned while rescuing his wife.
“He put his head back, he closed his eyes and he went under,” Condon told KLAS.
She believes Funk suffered a heart attack in Hoover Dam.
His body was never found.
Now after four sets of human remains were found in Lake Mead, the family are confident swimmers recovered his body in late July.
“For 18 years, whenever there’s a drowning out there or ever, ‘Hey, we found a body out here,’ I kind of prepared for it,” Condon said.
“It’s built like my father, the belly, the chest, the back.”
Funk’s daughter said she hopes a unique scar on his abdomen could lead to a successful identification with the coroner and a proper burial for her brave father.
According to NASA’s Earth Observatory, the water level in Lake Mead has reached its lowest level since April 1937, when the reservoir was first filled.
Lake Meade was only 27 percent full on July 18, 2022.
Earlier this year, a World War II ship was discovered in the lake just weeks after two skeletons were found.
Officials have determined that the second victim, whose remains were found in a barrel with a gunshot wound, died of manslaughter.
The coroner’s office, nicknamed Hemenway Harbor Doe, determined that the barrel-bound body was that of a murder victim, although details of her death were hazy.
“Every time you have a corpse in a barrel, clearly someone else was involved,” Johansson said.
Despite the lack of evidence, local officials were able to determine that the second victim, whose remains were uncovered on May 7, was between 23 and 37 years old, according to Rouse.
The manner of death of this victim is still under investigation.
As a result of the mega-drought that began in 2000, Lake Mead’s water level had dropped to 1,055 feet by April, according to Smithsonian Magazine.
According to National Geographic, the drought is the worst in 1,200 years, and this mega-drought is expected to last until at least 2030.
Lake Mead is a reservoir formed by the Hoover Dam that spans Nevada and Arizona.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/5982030/kenneth-funk-lake-mead-decomposed-body/ Shock twist as decomposed torso found at Lake Mead linked to unlikely victim after 4 sets of human remains found in months