Google Earth search leads to remains of man missing for 22 years

Revealed William Moldt was found although his car had been visible on satellite images since 2007

It took 22 years, but a missing man's remains were finally found thanks to someone who zoomed in on his former Florida neighborhood with Google satellite images and noticed a vehicle submerged in a lake, authorities said.

Moldt had called his girlfriend at the time to tell her he was on his way home from the club but he never made it back, Newsweek reported.

William Earl Moldt, 40, disappeared after he set out to drive home from a nightclub on Nov 7, 1997 in Lantana, Florida.

Though a missing person investigation was launched by police on November 7 of that year, the case went cold after no one could find him.

According to the Charley Project - which documents cases involving missing persons - the auto had been plainly visible on Google Earth since 2007, but nobody had noticed it until now.

The grainy image from Google Earth shows a auto resting on its side at a ledge where the pond comes to an end between rows of residences near the 3700 block of Moon Bay Circle. According to the Charley Project, which maintains an online list of anyone missing a year or more, someone spotted the auto on Google Earth.


The resident of the home then used his drone to confirm the auto was in fact in the pond and then called the PBSO to the scene on August 28. Upon removing the vehicle skeleton remains were found inside.

In the images from Google Earth, you can see what appears to be a vehicle in a retention pond that is flanked by homes. Both the vehicle and the remains were sent to the Medical Examiner's Office for processing.

Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office told the BBC that Moldt is presumed to have lost control of the vehicle and driven into the pond.

"On 10 September 10, the remains were positively identified as William Moldt, who was reported missing on November 8, 1997".

"You can't determine what happened that many years ago, what transpired", police spokeswoman Therese Barbera said. While he was apparently not a frequent drinker, he did have several drinks in the club on the night of his disappearance.

The housing development where Moldt's remains were found was reportedly under construction at the time he went missing.

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