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 car submerged in a lake, officials said.
According to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, the skeletal remains were of William Moldt, who went missing in 1997 at the age of 40.
Sheriff’s office representative Teri Barbera said on Thursday, Sept. 12, that a previous resident of the Grand Isles neighborhood in Wellington, Florida, was checking the neighborhood on Google Earth when he zoomed into the lake and saw what looked like a car.
The former resident contacted a current homeowner, who used a drone to confirm it was a white car on the edge of the pond behind his house. The man called the sheriff’s office on Aug. 28, and officers later arrived to find the white sedan’s exterior “heavily calcified.” After they got the vehicle out, they found the skeletal remains inside.
According to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, Moldt went to a nightclub in November 1997 but did not appear intoxicated as he left alone before midnight. He had called his girlfriend from the club saying he would return to their home in Lantana soon.
The subdivision was under construction when Moldt went missing, but the pond was already there. Barry Fay, whose home is near where the vehicle was found, told The Palm Beach Post that he had never noticed anything from the shoreline.
Fay told the newspaper, “Never did I believe there would be a 22-year-old dead body.”