Google Earth Leads to Discovery of Man Missing Since 1997

The body of a man who went missing in 1997 was recovered from a retention pond in Wellington last month

According to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, more than 600,000 people go missing in the US every year, with at least 4,400 unidentified bodies recovered each year.

A missing person investigation was launched by police but the case went cold. According to the Charley Project, which maintains an online list of anyone missing a year or more, someone spotted the auto on Google Earth.

Deputies responded to the 3700 block of Moon Bay Circle in regards to a resident finding a submerged vehicle in a retention pond behind his residence.

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

Upon removing the vehicle, human skeletal remains were found inside.

Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office investigators said Wednesday that the skeletal remains of William Moldt were found in a vehicle submerged in a retention pond in the Grand Isles at Wellington community.

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Barbera says a previous resident of Wellington, Florida, was checking his former neighborhood on Google Earth when he saw what looked like a vehicle in the lake. The former resident told a current resident, who flew a drone above the site and immediately called authorities when he confirmed that the vehicle was there.

Grand Isles was under construction in 1997 when Mold disappeared, WPLG Local 10 reported.

"You can't determine what happened that many years ago, what transpired", police spokeswoman Therese Barbera said.

According to The National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs), Moldt left a night club that evening at about 11 p.m.

Mr Moldt called his girlfriend at about 21:30, telling her he would be home soon, but was never seen or heard from again. He reportedly did not appear intoxicated and left the club alone in his vehicle. While he was apparently not a frequent drinker, he did have several drinks in the club on the night of his disappearance.

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