Google Earth search leads to remains of man missing for 22 years

William Earl Moldt's remains were found August 28 after a former resident saw the car in the pond

William Earl Moldt, 40, disappeared after he set out to drive home from a nightclub on Nov 7, 1997 in Lantana, Florida.

What appears to be a silver auto submerged in the pond can still be viewed on Google Maps.

His family finally have closure now, after a local property surveyor from the Florida town, browsing Google Maps satellite images of his neighborhood, spotted a auto partially submerged in a pond behind a nearby house.

Moldt reportedly did not appear intoxicated that night and left alone in his vehicle.

It's still not clear exactly how the vehicle ended up in the pond or how long it was in there.

On Thursday, Sheriff's office spokeswoman Teri Barbera said that a former resident of the Grand Isles neighborhood in Wellington, Florida was left awestruck to find a white substance which looked like a auto while he was checking the neighborhood on Google Earth.

"That previous resident contacted the current resident living on Moon Bay Circle and advised he noticed what appears to be a vehicle in a pond behind his home", according to the police statement.

Moldt, a 40-year-old mortgage broker, rarely drank, but he had made a decision to go out that evening in November 1997.

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The former resident contacted a current homeowner, who used a drone to confirm it was a white vehicle on the edge of the pond behind his house, the Palm Beach County Sheriff's office said.

Late last month, a resident of Wellington, Florida who was looking at the area on Google Earth saw the white outline in the water.

Fay didn't believe it, the Sun Sentinel reported, but he asked a neighbour who operates a drone to double check.

The remains were identified after being processed by the Medical Examiner's Office, police added. A coroner has now confirmed that they belonged to Mr Moldt.

The man called the Sheriff's office on August 28, and deputies later arrived to find the white sedan's exterior "heavily calcified".

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

The housing development where the pond is located was under construction at the time of Moldt's disappearance.

"He also was not a frequent drinker but did have several drinks at the bar", the report reads.

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