Google Maps Solves 20-Year-Old Missing Person Case

by : Jade Dadalica on : 30 Aug 2021 15:25
Google Maps Solves 20-Year-Old Missing Person CaseGoogle Maps/National Missing and Unidentified Persons System

A 20-year-old mystery has been solved after an unsettling Google Earth Maps image was discovered.

On November 7th, 1997, 40-year-old William Moldt was reported missing after a night out in Lantana, Florida.


According to reports, Moldt left a nightclub alone on the night he went missing and called his girlfriend around 9.30pm to tell her he was on his way home. He tragically never made it.

Police began a missing person investigation but without any leads, the case remained unsolved.

William Moldt (National Missing and Unidentified Persons System)National Missing and Unidentified Persons System

However, over 20 years after his disappearance, someone noticed a submerged vehicle in a pond on Google Maps and reported it to the police, seeing the investigation take a new turn.


Moldt’s body was discovered in 2019, with sources claiming satellite images of the vehicle have been available on Google Earth since 2007, although no one had uncovered it until recently.

The location was only a construction site when the missing persons report was filed, but the development has grown since then, leading the manager of The Grand Isles housing development to spot the car. Due to the state of the car when police arrived on the scene in Wellington, near Palm Beach, they determined it had likely been submerged for some time.

Google Maps Solves 20-Year-Old Missing Person Case (Google Maps)Google Maps

Moldt’s remains were located inside the vehicle after it was taken from the pond, with a medical examiner confirming Moldt’s identity a week later.


Law enforcement presumes Moldt lost control of his vehicle and drove into the pond, the BBC reports.

According to the Charley Project, an online database that gathers data on cold cases in the United States, the car could have been viewable on Google Maps for more than ten years.

‘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,’ it wrote.

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BBC News
  1. BBC News

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