Google Earth Helps Find Body of Man Missing for 22 Years

The remains of William Moldt were found in a submerged car that showed up on Google Earth.

A Google Earth satellite image helped solve the mystery of a Florida man who went missing 22 years ago.

The remains of William Moldt, who disappeared in 1997 at age 40, were found in a submerged car that showed up in a Google Earth search, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.

Someone searching his old neighborhood zoomed in on an image of a lake and saw a vehicle in the water, authorities said. He reached out to a current resident, who used a drone to photograph the body of water near his house.

Sure enough, there was a white car near the pond's edge. Sheriff's deputies pulled the vehicle from the water and discovered a skeleton. It took two weeks for the coroner to determine the remains belonged to Moldt, the Palm Beach Post reported. 

According to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, Moldt had been drinking at a strip club before he vanished. He had called his girlfriend to say he was leaving, and headed home about 11 p.m. Witnesses told authorities he didn't appear to be intoxicated.

In 1997, the retention pond had no guard rail, the paper reported. The subdivision that now surrounds the pond was under construction at the time and there was nothing to prevent Moldt from driving into the body of water.