Cold case breakthrough: Google Maps finds United States man missing for two decades

IMAGES VIA GOOGLE MAPS

IMAGES VIA GOOGLE MAPS

William Earl Moldt, 40, was reported missing on November 7, 1997, after he failed to return home from a nightclub in Lantana, Florida.

Barry Fay couldn't believe what a neighbor was telling him: Google Earth showed a vehicle rotting at the bottom of a pond behind his home.

A cold case from two decades ago has been solved after a Florida resident spotted a submerged vehicle in a pond while doing a search on Google Earth.

Reports from the time, say he did not seem to be intoxicated and left around 90 minutes later. There was a vehicle in that pond.

According to deputies, a previous resident who had lived in the Grand Isles community in Wellington was searching around on Google Earth when he noticed what appeared to be a auto in a retainer pond behind a house.

That person called the current resident on Moon Bay Circle to tell him that there appeared to be a auto behind his home, deputies said in a Facebook post. But that changed last month-thanks to Google Earth, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports.

The former resident contacted a current resident who then sent his personal drone to fly over the pond and confirmed the finding, alerting the police.

Fay was skeptical, so he called a neighbor who operates a drone.

He was 40 when he went missing. The neighbour asked Fay whether he knew about it.

Responding deputies from the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Department found the heavily calcified vehicle not far from the shore and determined it had been in the water for a long time, a department spokeswoman told ABC 10.

The remains were identified after being processed by the Medical Examiner's Office, police added.

Moldt's remains were identified, giving his family closure after a 22-year mystery.

"You can't determine what happened that many years ago, what transpired", police spokesperson Therese Barbera said. While he was apparently not a frequent drinker, he did have several drinks in the club on the night of his disappearance.

It's unclear how Moldt's auto ended up inside the pond at the Grand Isles development, which was still under construction when he disappeared.

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