Body found in drought-hit Lake Mead may be young father who fell off speedboat in 1958


Man says skeleton found in drought-hit Lake Mead may be his DAD who died after falling from speedboat in 1958 aged just 22: Skull has missing teeth, and dead man – whose father was a mobster – wore dentures

  • Todd Kolod said that his father, Daniel Kolod, loved to fish in Lake Mead’s Callville Bay 
  • Daniel drowned aged 22 after falling from a speedboat struck by wake in 1958, and his remains have never been found 
  • His dad was a mobster named Ruby, although there’s no suggestion the death was as a result of foul play 
  • Todd said that clues are leading him to believe that the remains belong to his dad 
  • One of those clues is that the skeletal remains are missing their front two teeth, just as his father was following a crash that knocked his front teeth out 
  • Around 300 people have drowned in Lake Mead, according to officials. That number does not include missing persons such as Daniel Kolod
  • Todd said his grandfather, a reputed mobster and casino manager, did everything to search for his son’s body

An American expat believes a body found in the drought-hit Lake Mead reservoir may be his father, who drowned in 1958 aged 22 and whose remains were never found.  

Todd Kolod thinks the body – one of two found in Lake Mead last month – may be that of his father Daniel Kolod.

Daniel fell from a speedboat that flipped when it struck by a wake during a fishing trip with a friend 64 years ago. His father was a mobster named Ruby Kolod, although there is no suggestion that Daniel’s death was a result of foul play. 

His remains were never recovered despite searches by a helicopter and divers. 

A friend who was on the boat with Daniel also fell into the water, but was rescued and survived.  

Todd, who now lives in Ibiza, said his suspicions were heightened thanks to a photo of a skull with missing teeth. 

That is because his late father wore dentures following a car crash which knocked his front teeth out.  

Todd said in an interview with KLAS that when he heard that remains were found in the Callville Bay section of Lake Mead his eyes ‘bulged wide open.’

Todd said that when his father Daniel Kolod loved to fish in Callville Bay. Todd said: ‘He went out regularly. He ran out of fish to give people to.’

At the time, Todd was three years old. He says that his family told him that his father had ‘went away,’ and that he only learned the grim truth when he was older. 

Todd Kolod, pictured here with his father Daniel, was born in 1956, two years before his father died in Callville Bay

Todd Kolod, pictured here with his father Daniel, was born in 1956, two years before his father died in Callville Bay

Todd as he appears now. He says he believes a skull with missing teeth exposed by falling water levels may well be that of his father

Todd as he appears now. He says he believes a skull with missing teeth exposed by falling water levels may well be that of his father  

This image of missing teeth is the one that really pricked Todd's suspicions. His father lost some of his front teeth following a car crash, and was wearing dentures when he died

This image of missing teeth is the one that really pricked Todd’s suspicions. His father lost some of his front teeth following a car crash, and was wearing dentures when he died 

Daniel Kolod's father Ruby, pictured, was a mobster who spent time in jail - although there is no suggestion Daniel's death was the result of foul play

Daniel Kolod’s father Ruby, pictured, was a mobster who spent time in jail – although there is no suggestion Daniel’s death was the result of foul play  

According to the KLAS report, 300 people have drowned in Lake Mead since the 1930s but that does not include those whose bodies were never recovered, including Daniel Kolod.

The remains that possibly belong to Daniel were recovered by kayakers in May, shortly after the discovery of a body in a barrel believed to be a possible mob murder victim.

As a result, Daniel wore a partial denture. A dentist who specializes in identifying remains from teeth, Dr. Deborah Staten, told a KLAS reporter that the skeletal remains are missing two front teeth. 

Dr. Staten said: ‘I feel like those ones were freshly removed.’ She added that the deceased person was missing other teeth. 

The KLAS report goes on to say that the only way to positively identify the remains as belonging to Daniel Kolod would be to get a DNA sample from Todd Kolod. 

Todd added: ‘My grandfather, he did everything he could to find the body. I just assumed finding the body was an impossibility. This could be my dad, or my dad could be the next discovery.’ 

Daniel Kolod’s father was Ruby Kolod aka Reuben Koloditsky, a reputed member of Cleveland’s crime syndicate in the 1930s. 

Around 1950, Ruby relocated to Las Vegas as the casino manager of the Desert Inn Hotel. For that venture, Ruby was partnered with another known mobster, Moe Dalitz.  

Daniel Kolod operated a men's clothing store in the Desert Inn casino in Las Vegas

Daniel Kolod operated a men’s clothing store in the Desert Inn casino in Las Vegas

Daniel Kolod pictured with his wife and Todd's mother, Sandy

Daniel Kolod pictured with his wife and Todd’s mother, Sandy

Daniel was riding in a boat with a friend when it flipped over after hitting a wake

Daniel was riding in a boat with a friend when it flipped over after hitting a wake

According to Fabulous Las Vegas Magazine, Daniel Kolod operated a men’s clothing store in the casino at the time of his death. A separate notification in the magazine announced the birth of Todd Kolod in July 1956, to parents Daniel and Sandy Kolod. 

Following the death of his son, Ruby named the Danny Kolod Youth Center in Las Vegas for his son. 

Daniel Kolod had three siblings, sisters Elaine and Annette, as well as a brother Leonard. 

In April 1964, Ruby was sentenced to four years in prison after being found guilty of attempted to extort money from other mobsters. He was allowed free on bond while his appeal pended.

Ruby died in August 1967.  He had been in poor health since suffering a heart attack in 1963.  

Photos of the grisly discovery show a skull, complete with teeth, nestled into the dirt and sand near the lake's shore

Photos of the grisly discovery show a skull, complete with teeth, nestled into the dirt and sand near the lake’s shore

Lindsey and Lynette Melvin reportedly found the skeletal remains at Callville Bay within the Lake Mead National Recreation Area around 2 p.m. Saturday

Lindsey and Lynette Melvin reportedly found the skeletal remains at Callville Bay within the Lake Mead National Recreation Area around 2 p.m. Saturday

It is not known if the remains found Saturday were uncovered because of the receding waters, but police warned that more bodies could turn up

It is not known if the remains found Saturday were uncovered because of the receding waters, but police warned that more bodies could turn up

 

Todd Kolod said in a previous interview that he has commuted back and forward to Ibiza from the US with his wife, Barbe, since 2009. The couple married in 2012. Todd is a singer-songwriter.  

On May 20, Todd Kolod tweeted: ‘I was just interviewed by KLAS-TV in Las Vegas about the skeletal remains recently found in Callville Bay, Lake Mead. It will air next week. It is going to take sometime with the identification process. It could be my dad who drowned there in 1958.’ 

The water level of Lake Mead has dropped so much that a water intake valve which supplies Las Vegas has become visible for the first time since 1971.

The water level in Lake Mead have reached their lowest heights since 1971. The reservoir's water provides drinking water and and electricity for 40million people

The water level in Lake Mead have reached their lowest heights since 1971. The reservoir’s water provides drinking water and and electricity for 40million people 

Many of the problems facing Lake Mead come from the ongoing drought in the region, that has caused the Colorado River basin to become extremely low

Many of the problems facing Lake Mead come from the ongoing drought in the region, that has caused the Colorado River basin to become extremely low

Lake Mead is one of the largest human-made reservoirs in the U.S., part of a system that provides water to more than 40 million people, tribes, agriculture and industry in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming and across the southern border in Mexico.

Water levels in Lake Mead – the largest reservoir in the US, which is formed by the Hoover Dam River and sits about 24 miles from Las Vegas – have reached their lowest level since 1971.

Levels have been declining for the past few years, as a result of the ongoing megadrought in the southwestern US, as well as increasing demand for water.

The water line in the reservoir now sits at 1,055ft above sea level, well below the maximum capacity of 1,229 ft, and worryingly close to the 1,050ft limit for pumping water out to 40 million people.

The record low water levels are a result of the worst drought in centuries, with human-caused climate change making it 72 per cent worse, studies have shown.

With weather patterns expected to worsen, experts say the reservoir may never be full again.

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