It wasn’t until the villagers of a nearby hamlet discovered a half-submerged collection of huts during a search for a missing person that the true history of Backwater Swamp began to unravel. After the federal authorities were alerted to the small settlement, they opted to drain the waters around the village in order to investigate the outcome of the previous inhabitants. Even after only a small amount of water had been removed, they soon realized that any poor souls that had drifted on the currents or gotten lost wandering in the swamp had found their way to this place. Saturated bits of flesh floated in the remaining water and caked blood darkened the already-rotting wood of the shacks amidst the occasional limb. In the middle of the encampment, a large paddle steamer engulfed by the sloppy, drooling mud loomed over it's surroundings. Upon closer inspection, one could read discrepant lettering across the port side reading, "The Pale Rose".
Further drainage eventually gave access to the lower levels of the steamer. Even going near the entrance caused several investigators to vomit as a horrible stench oozed out into the open air. At the top of the stairs, several marks in the walls could be noted, hinting that something had been clawing at them. The marks continued almost in a line down the steps until the flooded basement hid them from sight. At the bottom, the true horror was found. An approximation of 37 confirmed sets of human remains floated and bobbed in the crimson water, veins and intestines flowing out of their respective cavities. Corpses showed traces of being cut into, their bones apparently carefully scraped free of flesh by either tools, claws, or both. Only one body, Lander Millard, was ever identified and sufficiently recovered for a burial. Most deduced a cannibalistic individual likely hunted in the swamp, though this was never proven. Village rumor has it whoever was responsible fled into the darkest reaches of the swamp, to one day begin their foul hunt again.
As for the family that actually lurked in these waters - the villagers would stumble across them elsewhere, devoured by an identifiable animal.