William Moldt disappeared after leaving a nightclub in November 1997. Years of investigation could not solve the case.

Witnesses testified that despite having several drinks at the club, Moldt appeared sober when they left the club before midnight.

He even called his girlfriend before making his way home. He never did arrive home.

Barry Fay, a resident of Moon Bay Cir, Wellington, Florida, received some Google Earth screenshots of his backyard from a neighbor.

In the screenshots, one white vehicle seemed to have been submerged in the pond behind his house. It was just around the edge of the shoreline.

He borrowed a drone from a neighbor to help scan the area, and the vehicle was indeed there. Fay called the local county sheriff’s office to report what he saw.

The police pulled the car out of the water and revealed skeletal remains inside. The medical examiner’s office identified the remains as William Moldt. Since there was no foul play suspected, the case was closed thanks to Google Earth.


10 /10 Drone Surveillance

Once the former resident was convinced of the sighting on Google Earth, he contacted a current homeowner, who then used a drone to better look at the vehicle. The drone confirmed that it was a white car right on the edge of the pond.

The sheriff’s office, after receiving a phone call on August 28, 2019, about the discovery, sent deputies to the scene of the reported sighting.

They found a white sedan with a heavily calcified exterior and skeletal remains inside. On September 10, Medical Examiner’s Office identified the remains as William Moldt, who had gone missing for 22 years.


9 /10 Missing Mortgage Broker

William Moldt had brown eyes and sandy hair. He weighed about 225 pounds and was 6 feet tall. Moldt worked as a mortgage broker.

He was last seen wearing gray trousers, a tie, dress shoes, a white button-down oxford shirt with stripes, a black belt, a 14-carat gold nugget ring with two diamonds, and a Gruen men’s watch with a blue face and gold band.

The last time anybody had heard of him was after he spent a night drinking at an adult club. It remains unclear precisely what he had for a drink and how much.

8 /10 Newly Constructed Pond

According to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, William Moldt did go to a nightclub in November 1997.

Also, he did not appear intoxicated when he left before midnight. Some accounts suggested that Moldt had several drinks, but he was not mainly a frequent drinker.

Moldt called his girlfriend from the club to tell her that he would be home soon; he never arrived. 

Most parts of the neighborhood – where Moldt’s remains were found – had not been constructed yet. The pond was already there, however. Barry Fay had never noticed anything that resembled a vehicle from the shoreline.

7 /10 Undetermined Cause

William Moldt was presumed to have lost control of his vehicle on the way home and driven it into the pond.

If it was true, he had not been intoxicated, something else that must have made him go off-road.

During the initial investigation of his disappearance, there was no indication of him driving into the pond. Back then, it made little sense to even think of that ever occurring.

He was missing off the face of the Earth, and now he has been found. A shift in pond water made his car visible.

dennizn / Shutterstock.com

6 /10 Still On The Map

If you look for the pond today on Google Maps, you can still see the vehicle. The body of water is an artificial retention pond built to contain heavy rain runoff.

Search for “Moon Bay Cir, Wellington,” then zoom in right at it. A white speck should be visible around the North West corner of the pond.

When the vehicle was pulled out, the exterior was coated with thick calcium because it had spent a prolonged period submerged in water.

It was a white 1994 Saturn SL. Fay said the discovery was nothing but coincidence.

5 /10 Case Grown Cold

The police did launch an investigation into the disappearance of William Moldt. After many years of leading nowhere, the case had grown cold at least until August 2019.

The Charley Project, which profiles “cold case” missing people mainly from the United States, claimed that the vehicle had been visible on Google Earth satellite since 2007. That said, no one noticed until 2019.

Google Earth was launched in June 2011, or about 14 years after Moldt had been missing. It would take eight more years until someone incidentally discovered his remains.

4 /10 Game Of Telephone

The discovery of Moldt’s Saturn SL started with a game of telephone.

Fay’s neighbor’s ex-husband was the first person to notice something that looked like a vehicle in a pond on Google Earth. He took some screenshots and sent them to his ex-wife. 

Instead of going directly to the police, she forwarded the images to Fay and asked whether he saw the same thing she did: a car.

Fay went to his backyard, but he couldn’t see the vehicle. At that time, Fay had been living in the house for 14 months.

3 /10 Invisible From Shoreline

Fay said that even when the water was low, he still couldn’t see the vehicle or anything that looked like a car for as long as he lived in the house.

Fay spent a lot of time in his backyard, plating pineapples and landscaping.

Instead of giving up, he called a neighbor and asked if he could borrow a drone to fly over the pond. The drone saw the same thing as Google Earth.

There was a white car under the water in his backyard. Fay reported the sighting to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.

2 /10 No Barrier Before

The pond where William Moldt’s remains were found is a stretched, tear-dropped shape. It has homes on two sides and some barriers, but it wasn’t always like that.

The houses, including one where Fay lives, were not built until 1998. No one was living near enough the pond to notice anything unusual that night.

When Moldt went missing, the barriers had not been constructed yet. There was nothing to stop his vehicle from driving into the pond and entering the water. Back in 1997, only the roads and ponds were in place.

1 /10 No Foul Play

The police were quick to point out that they did not suspect any foul play leading to the incident.

The most plausible explanation is that Moldt lost control of his car and couldn’t stop it from entering the water.

More surprisingly, he wasn’t able to make his way out of the vehicle. Even if he had driven the car fast enough to the shoreline, water would have slowed it down a great deal, giving him time to escape. Moldt did not exit; he drowned.

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