Google Earth search uncovered body of missing Florida man in retention pond

Florida man

Florida man

Remains that were found in a Florida pond have been identified as William Moldt who went missing more than 20 years ago. Deputies were called out to Palm Beach County retention pond August 28 on a report of a submerged auto; inside the vehicle were skeletal remains that, the sheriff's office says, were identified as Moldt on Tuesday.

Sheriff's office spokeswoman Teri Barbera said on Thursday 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 auto.

That person called the current resident on Moon Bay Circle to tell him that there appeared to be a vehicle behind his home, deputies said in a Facebook post. "Upon removing the vehicle, skeletal remains were found inside".

According to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs), on the evening of November 7, 1997, Moldt left a nightclub at about 11 p.m.

"The vehicle's exterior was heavily calcified and was obviously in the water for a significant amount of time", Barbera said.

Ms Barbera said it was a neighbour who reported the sunken auto and was not aware of reports that Google Maps had been used.

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William Earl Moldt left a South Florida nightclub on November 8, 1997.

Then someone looked closely at a Google Earth satellite photo. Skeletal remains pulled from the vehicle were identified by a coroner as Moldt.

Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office told the BBC that Moldt is presumed to have lost control of the auto and driven into the pond.

Police launched a missing person investigation, but the case had grown cold until last month.

He reportedly did not appear intoxicated at the time and left alone in his vehicle according to WPTV.

Moldt had called his girlfriend from the bar at around 9:30 p.m.to say he would be home soon, and that was the last contact she had with him.

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