Google Earth helps solve the mystery of decades-old USA disappearance

Cheryl Sanders
September 13, 2019

The mystery of where 40-year-old Moldt disappeared to on 8 November 1997 had left cops stumped, however, it was reportedly solved after someone spotted a sunken vehicle in a pond on Google Earth and called in the police to investigate.

William Earl Moldt was reported missing on November 8, 1997, when he didn't return from a night out in Lantana, Fla.

He was 40 years old at the time he went missing.

On the night of his disappearance, Mr Moldt left the club at about 23:00 local time (03:00 GMT), a report by the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System said.

An image of the submerged auto is still available to view on Google Earth.


For 22 years, the whereabouts of William Earl Moldt remained a mystery - until someone looked on Google Earth.

Inside, were skeletal remains identified Tuesday as William Earl Moldt.

"Amazingly, a vehicle had (been) plainly visible on a Google Earth satellite photo of the area since 2007, but apparently no one had noticed it until 2019, when a property surveyor saw the auto while looking at Google Earth", the Charley Project, a database that compiles information about missing people, wrote in its profile of Moldt.

It's unclear how Moldt's vehicle ended up inside the pond at the Grand Isles development, which was still under construction when he disappeared. Using his personal drone, the current resident confirmed there was a auto in the pond and contacted police.

When the auto was pulled from the water, deputies saw skeletal remains inside.


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

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.

The Grand Isles housing project, where Moldt's auto was found by the property surveyor, had been under construction at the time of his disappearance.

"He also was not a frequent drinker but did have several drinks at the bar", the report said.


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