The mystery of a man who disappeared without a trace after leaving a strip club 22 years ago was finally resolved when a sunken vehicle was spotted on Google Earth.
The remains of William Earl Moldt's skeleton were found after a man swept the satellite maps and noticed what appeared to be a submerged car in a retention pond behind a house.
The former resident of the neighborhood contacted the owner of the house and explained to him what he had found. He flew over the basin with a drone equipped with a camera and saw the vehicle under the water.
After the police were alerted, the heavily calcified car was released from the pond in Wellington, Florida, and human remains were found there.
The remains were clearly identified as the mortgage broker Mr. Moldt, who was 40 years old when he disappeared on November 7, 1997.
The car was visible on Google Earth since the launch of the service in 2007, but no one had apparently noticed it so far.
Barry Fay, whose home is leaning against the pond, said that he had never noticed the vehicle since the shore.
He told the Palm Beach Post that he was stunned when the car was towed, adding, "I would never have thought that there would be a 22-year-old corpse."
He was last seen leaving a strip club alone in his car around 11 pm and did not seem to be intoxicated, according to a list of cases in the National People's System. missing and unidentified (NamUs).
He had called his girlfriend around 9:30 pm to tell him that he would be coming back soon to their home in Lantana, about 15 miles from the pond where his remains would have been found, but she never again heard of him.
Mr. Moldt was a "quiet man" and did not much socialize at the club, according to NamUs.
He did not drink often, but had several drinks at the bar.
Moldt, who is reported to have turned 62 this year, was reported missing the next day.
His car went into the pond when the new development homes were under construction and there were no gates.
Police opened an investigation and made several appeals and searches failed.
The discovery of Mr. Moldt's remains on August 28 brought long-awaited answers to his family and friends.
The Charley Project, which lists cases of missing people who have cooled down, wrote: "Surprisingly, a vehicle had been clearly visible on a Google Earth satellite photo of the area since 2007, but apparently no one had noticed it until then. In 2019, a surveyor saw the car while watching Google Earth. "
A spokesman for the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office said: "A former resident of Grand Isles was doing a Google search in Google Earth in the area and noticed what appeared to be a vehicle in the pond. located behind a residence.
"This previous resident contacted the current resident who lives on Moon Bay Circle and informed him that he had noticed what appeared to be a vehicle in a pond behind his house.
"The current resident activated his personal drone and confirmed what the previous resident had seen and immediately contacted PBSO.
"On arrival, the deputies confirmed the presence of a vehicle in the pond.
"The outside of the vehicle was very calcified and was obviously in the water for quite a long time.
"After removing the vehicle, skeletal remains were found inside.
"The detectives and the crime scene responded and took the investigation.
"The vehicle and the remains were towed to the coroner's office for treatment.
"On September 10, 2019, the human remains were clearly identified as William Moldt, missing on November 8, 1997."
Last week, Canadian police revealed that Janet Farris' 69-year-old body, who had disappeared on her way to a wedding in 1992, was found in a submerged car.
Max Werekna, 13, saw the car in about 15 feet of water at Griffin Lake in Revelstoke, British Columbia while he was boating with his family.