Skeletal remains of man missing almost 22 years found in submerged auto

Florida man

Google Earth leads to remains of missing Florida man in lake

William Earl Moldt's vehicle is seen at the top of this Grand Isles community retention pond in Wellington 22 years after it plunged to the bottom in November 1997.

Moldt's remains were found August 28 after a former resident saw the auto in the pond, the sheriff's office said. Palm Beach County sheriff's deputies went to look at the vehicle, finding it was heavily calcified and had been there for a long time.

Deputies quickly verified that there was a heavily-calcified auto in the pond, meaning the vehicle had likely been submerged for a very long time.

Both the vehicle and the remains were sent to the Medical Examiner's Office for processing.

After his missing persons case went cold, his body was finally recovered after his vehicle was spotted on Google Earth.

How they came to be discovered occurred in a most freakish manner after the manager of The Grand Isles housing development spotted the sunken auto on Google Earth and alerted the police.

According to The Charley Project - an online database that collects information on U.S. cold cases - it was possible to see the vehicle on Google for more than a decade.

An image of the submerged auto is still available to view on Google Earth.

The last time he was seen - leaving a nightclub on his way home - he reportedly was alone and did not appear intoxicated, according to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System.

A previous resident of the neighbourhood of Grand Isles in Wellington, Florida, about 30 kilometres west of Lantana, was looking at the area on Google Earth when he zoomed into a pond and saw what looked like a auto.

According to NamUs, he was not a frequent drinker but did have several drinks at the bar.

Moldt had called his girlfriend from the bar at around 9:30pm to say he would be home soon. Of these bodies, around 1,000 of them are not officially identified until at least one year.

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