Google Earth satellite photo helps crack Florida missing person case from 1997
The submerged vehicle is seen in the Google Earth satellite photo.
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.
The remains of William Moldt, who was reported missing on Nov. 8, 1997, were discovered after the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office (PBSO) pulled a submerged car from a pond in the Wellington, Fla., area in August.
Police say a resident saw what has now been confirmed to be Moldt’s car on a Google Earth satellite photo and took action immediately.
“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.
The resident of the home then used his drone to confirm the car was in fact in the pond and then called the PBSO to the scene on Aug. 28.
Police discovered skeletal remains after pulling the car out of the water, noting the vehicle’s exterior was “heavily calcified and was obviously in the water for a significant amount of time.” The medical examiner’s office then confirmed who the remains belonged to.
Moldt is said to have lost control of his vehicle and crashed into the pond, according to BBC News.
According to a U.S. database which profiles unsolved missing people cases, Moldt’s car was visible on a Google Earth satellite photo of the area since 2007. But no one noticed until 2019.