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Man using Google Earth 'solved' an old missing persons case after spotting shocking detail in a pond

Man using Google Earth 'solved' an old missing persons case after spotting shocking detail in a pond

How Google Earth played a big part in solving a missing persons case over 20 years later.

Google Earth is hugely useful - but did you know it's actually helped solve a missing person's case?

In 2019, the remains of a missing man were found in Florida after 22 years - thanks to someone zooming into his former neighborhood on Google Earth.

According to authorities, a former resident of the Grand Isles neighborhood in Wellington, Florida, was checking the area on Google Earth when he zoomed into the lake and saw what looked like a car.

Palm Beach County sheriff’s office spokeswoman, Teri Barbera, said the former resident contacted a current homeowner in the area, who used a drone to confirm a white car was on the edge of the pond behind his house.

This sparked a chain of events - the sheriff's office was called, and police arrived to find the white car's exterior 'heavily calcified', with skeletal remains inside.

According to the sheriff's office, the remains were of William Moldt, who went missing over 20 years earlier - in 1997 at the age of 40.

The National Missing and Unidentified Persons System said Moldt went to a nightclub in November 1997 but did not appear intoxicated as he left alone before midnight. He reportedly called his girlfriend from the club, saying he would be home soon.

The estate was under construction when Moldt went missing, but the pond was already there.

When the discovery was made back in 2019, Barry Fay, whose home is near where the car was found, told The Palm Beach Post that he had never noticed anything from the shoreline.

NurPhoto / Contributor / Getty
NurPhoto / Contributor / Getty

The case was posted on the Reddit thread Damnthatsinteresting by the user Late_One_716, racking up 26.9k votes in just seven hours.

And people in the comments section are noting that this isn't necessarily a one-off.

One Redditor wrote: "Happens more often than what many people realize, just earlier this year there was another case where a woman in a car was discovered in a pond near Walt Disney World, 12 years after she had accidentally driven the water."

While another said: "Had a serious drought years ago that solved several missing persons cold cases. Low water levels made a car visible to a random helicopter which sparked a program of flights around neighborhoods with canals and lakes and along highways with adjacent canals. This was SE Florida."

Featured Image Credit: NurPhoto / Contributor / Getty / Google Maps