A Google Earth User Spotted a Car in a Florida Pond and Solved a Dark 22-Year-Old Mystery

©Google Earth

This is a tragic story with an awful ending, but at least the family members of this man can now have some closure after 22 whole years.

No one had heard from William Earl Moldt, a 40-year-old man from Lake Worth, Florida, since November 7, 1997, when he called his girlfriend to tell her he was leaving a nightclub and would be arriving home shortly.

Then, Moldt disappeared.

On August 28 of this year, a Lake Worth man was looking at Google Earth images of his neighborhood when he noticed something unusual in a pond. Upon closer inspection, the man noticed that the object was a sunken vehicle that was not visible from ground level.

Authorities were alerted and the car turned out to be a 1994 Saturn SL with skeletal remains inside and they were later identified as belonging to Moldt. In a statement, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s office said, “The vehicle’s exterior was heavily calcified and was obviously in the water for a significant amount of time.”

The pond where Moldt’s car ended up was under construction when he disappeared in 1997, and it’s unclear how his car ended up in the water.

Although the story sounds outrageous, it is a fairly common occurrence for cars to end up in waterways. In Florida alone, there were 168 water-related deaths from car accidents between 2011 and 2016. According to the missing-persons website NAMUS, Moldt “was not a frequent drinker but did have several drinks at the bar” the night he disappeared.