The body of a man who went missing in 1997 has been found thanks to Google Maps. 40-year-old Florida man, William Moldt, who was reported missing in November of 1997 was found after a neighbor told Barry Fay of Wellington, Florida, there was a car in the pond behind his house that could be seen from Google Maps.
Fay called police after he and a friend with a hobby drone flew the machine over the pond and sure enough, there was a car in there. Police pulled out a white 1994 Saturn SL with Moldt’s skeleton inside.
“I called the former owner of my house and asked if she knew about this,” Fay told the Sun Sentinel. “She was shocked.” Moon Bay Circle, in Wellington, Florida is part of a housing development called the Grand Isles, the gated community had been under construction at the time of Moldt’s disappearance in 1997, according to the Charley Project, a cold case investigation community.
Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement posted to Facebook, “Upon arrival deputies confirmed there was a vehicle in the pond. The vehicle’s exterior was heavily calcified and was obviously in the water for a significant amount of time. Upon removing the vehicle skeleton remains were found inside. On September 10, 2019, the remains were positively identified as William Moldt, who was reported missing on November 8, 1997.”
It turns out the car has been visible on Google Earth since at least 2007 thanks to the company’s satellite mapping software. Investigators still have no idea what happened to Moldt, who went missing after visiting a nightclub 22 years ago. Moldt had called his girlfriend around 9:30pm to tell her that he was on his way home but was never heard from again.
“You can’t determine what happened that many years ago, what transpired,” a police spokesperson from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office told the BBC. “All we know is that he went missing off the face of the Earth, and now he’s been discovered.”