Google Earth helped locate a submerged car in a Florida pond - and the body of a man missing 22 years


Google Earth helps find body of man in Florida lake; he'd been missing 22 years

WELLINGTON, FL (WPTV/CNN) - Google Earth and a drone helped some Floridians crack a 22-year-old cold case, but there are still some unanswered questions.

A startling discovery was made just across the street from a couple’s home.

In August, detectives with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s office pulled a 1994 Saturn SL from a retention pond.

“I was like, ‘Wow a car in the lake for 22 years.’ I was like ‘wow,’” Brian Martin said.

“They did come knocking on our door and ask how long we have been living here. And we said, ‘About nine years,’ and they said, ‘Did you realize that there was a car in the lake?’” Lori Martin said.

Authorities pulled a submerged vehicle out of a retention pond in a Florida neighborhood. Inside was a man who had been missing 22 years.
Authorities pulled a submerged vehicle out of a retention pond in a Florida neighborhood. Inside was a man who had been missing 22 years. (Source: Courtesy Brian Martin/WPTV/CNN)

They were tipped off by someone who used to live in the neighborhood and spotted the car on Google Earth.

Someone who lives in the neighborhood used a personal drone to take a closer look.

Inside investigators found the skeletal remains of William Earl Moldt, who was reported missing in November 1997.

“I’m sure the family has been looking for him,” Martin said.

Moldt was 40 years old when he disappeared. He would be 62 years old now.

His girlfriend at the time says they spoke on the phone a couple of hours before he left a nightclub.

He’s believed to have had several drinks before leaving alone on Nov. 7, 1997.

“If there is an upside to this is that the family finally knows what happened to their loved one, and like my wife said, we give condolences to that family,” Brian Martin said.

It’s still not clear exactly how the car ended up in the pond or how long it was in there.

Copyright 2019 WPTV via CNN. All rights reserved.