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Mystery of missing Florida man solved 22 years on with the help of Google Earth

William Earl Moldt has been found after going missing in 1997. Credit: Google Earth

The mystery of a missing Florida man has been solved 22 years on, thanks to Google Earth.

William Earl Moldt was first reported missing on 7 November 1997 after leaving a bar.

The mortgage broker had called his girlfriend shortly after 9.30pm to say he would be coming home soon.

Reports from the time, say he did not seem to be intoxicated and left around 90 minutes later.

But the 40-year-old, who was known as Bill and not a frequent drinker, did not return home. He was never heard from again.

The case appeared to go cold and was taken on by the Charley Project, an initiative which keeps details of missing people after they stop receiving press attention.

Some two decades later, a breakthrough came.

The car can be seen close to houses in a suburban setting in Florida. Credit: Google Earth

Late last month, a resident of Wellington, Florida who was looking at the area on Google Earth saw the white outline in the water.

He contacted a home owner near the pond, a drone was then dispatched and a car uncovered.

Police were then contacted. Pulling the car from the water, they found it heavily calcified with the body of Mr Moldt inside.

He was around 20 miles from his last known location.

The discovery of the body, which is thought to have been there since the construction of the houses nearby more than 20 years ago, closes the case.

Despite Mr Moldt only being found last month, the satellite image which lead to his discovery has been online since 2007.