November 7, 1997
Lantana, Florida
William Moldt is reported missing; his body will be found 22 years later

Moldt was reported missing after he failed to return home after visiting a nightclub. While he was seen drinking he “did not appear intoxicated,” according to a now-removed listing from the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (the listing was removed after Moldt’s body was recovered and he was no longer classified as missing).

At some point, investigators believe, Moldt lost control of his car and drove into a pond where he ultimately died. The area in which his car and body remained for two decades was still in development at the time of the accident and, as such, did not have guard rails or homes to prevent the vehicle from winding up in the pond.

Moldt and his car were found 22 years later, on August 22, 2019. A former resident of the area spotted what he believed was a vehicle (circled) on satellite photographs via Google Earth. He sent the image to a friend and current resident of the neighborhood who agreed the shape appeared to be a car, and while he was unable to see the car on the ground, he used a drone to verify the object was a car. Based on the sighting, the car containing Moldt’s skeletal remains was pulled from the water and his case was officially closed.

Sources:
“William Earl Moldt.” The Charley Project. Accessed: November 7, 2019. http://charleyproject.org/case/william-earl-moldt
Webb, Kristina. “UPDATE: How Google Earth helped find man missing since 1997 in Wellington pond.” The Palm Beach Post. September 12, 2019. Accessed: November 7, 2019. https://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/20190912/update-how-google-earth-helped-find-man-missing-since-1997-in-wellington-pond
“Google Maps shows sunken car where missing man’s body was found.” BBC. September 12, 2019. Accessed: November 7, 2019. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-49677843

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