Google Maps shows sunken vehicle where missing man’s body was found

The skeletal remains of William Earl Moldt were found inside a submerged vehicle spotted in a retention pond on Google Earth

Officials in Palm Beach County, Fla., have identified a man whose skeletal remains were recovered from a auto found submerged in a retention pond in a densely populated residential neighborhood. 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.

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.

The former resident contacted a current homeowner, who used a drone to confirm it was a white auto on the edge of the pond behind his house. After they got the vehicle out, they found the skeletal remains inside.

The vehicle and the remains were turned over to the Palm Beach County Medical Examiner's Office for processing.

It wasn't until Tuesday that the remains were positively identified as Moldt's.

They found him via technology that wasn't as developed back then: Google Earth and drones.

A report by the Charley Project, an online database of cold cases in the USA, said the "vehicle had plainly [been] visible on a Google Earth satellite photo of the area since 2007, but apparently no-one had noticed it until 2019".


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

Moldt could have been found 10 years ago.

A missing person investigation was launched by police but the case went cold.

While he was apparently not a frequent drinker, he did have several drinks in the club on the night of his disappearance.

The housing complex surrounding the pond, the Grand Isles, was under construction when Moldt disappeared, according to the Charley Project and local news reports.

Mr Moldt called his girlfriend at about 21:30, telling her he would be home soon, but was never seen or heard from again.

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