Google Maps solves 20-year-old missing person case

Google Earth Maps solved a missing person case 20 years after his disappearance. 

After a night out in Lantana, Florida, on November 7th, 1997, William Moldt, 40, went missing. Despite all the efforts the police made at the time, his disappearance remained a mystery. The last person he spoke to was his girlfriend when he called her to tell her he was on his way home. Sadly, she never saw him again.

Credits: Google Maps / National Missing and Unidentified Persons System

Moldt’s case was resumed in 2019 when someone noticed a submerged vehicle in a pond on Google Maps. As Unilad reveals, the investigation took a new turn after the person’s report. However, sources claim satellite images of the car have been on Google Earth since 2007 – more than a decade before the man’s body was found.

At the time of William’s sudden vanishing, the location was only a construction site in Wellington, near Palm Beach. But in the years since his disappearance, the development has grown, and his car was eventually spotted by the manager of The Grand Isles housing construction.

After resuming investigation, police determined Moldt’s car had likely been submerged for years. 

The man’s remains were uncovered inside the vehicle. According to BBC, law enforcement presumes he had lost control of the wheel and drove into the pond.

Credits: Google Maps

The Charley Project, an online database that gathers data on cold cases in the U.S., claims the car could have been viewable on Google Maps for about 12 years before Wiliam’s remains were found.  They explained:

“Amazingly, the vehicle had been plainly visible on a Google Earth satellite image of the area since 2007, but apparently no one had noticed it until 2019.”

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