WELLINGTON – On August 28, 2019, Palm Beach County Deputies responded to the 3700 block of Moon Bay Circle in Wellington Florida regarding a resident finding a submerged vehicle in a retention pond behind his residence.
Upon arrival deputies confirmed there was indeed a vehicle in the pond; the exterior was heavily calcified (hardened by calcium carbonate or other insoluble calcium compounds) and was obviously in the water for a significant amount of time. Upon removing the vehicle skeletal remains were found inside.
Detectives and Crime Scene investigators responded and assumed the collection and preservation of evidence. The vehicle and the remains were towed to the Medical Examiner’s Office for processing and identification.
n September 10, 2019, the remains were positively identified as William Earl Moldt, who was reported missing on November 8, 1997. According to Palm Beach County Detectives, the vehicle was discovered on a Google Earth satellite photo of the area when a previous resident living in Grand Isles was doing a “Google search” on Google Earth [actual image] and noticed what appeared to be a vehicle in the pond behind the residence. That previous resident contacted the current resident living on Moon Bay Circle and advised it appeared a vehicle was in the pond behind his home. The current resident activated his personal drone and confirmed what the previous resident saw and immediately contacted the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office.
According to Newsweek who spoke with The National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, Moldt had gone to an Adult Night Club on the evening of November 7, 1997, and left around 11 p.m. He had called his girlfriend at around 9:30 p.m. to say he would be home soon, but she never heard from him again. While he was not a frequent drinker, he had several drinks in the club that night.
UPDATE: A previous version of this story did not mention the resident who initially spotted the vehicle, nor current resident confirmation via a drone. This story is developing and was updated after additional details were released from the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office.