Google Earth search leads to gruesome ending to decades-old missing person's case

The remains were identified as William Moldt, who went missing in 1997.

A man using Google Earth to have a look around his old property ended up spotting something unusual -- sparking a chain of events that led to the remains of a person who disappeared two decades ago.

As he scanned a pond behind the home, the man spotted a lump that appeared to be a vehicle and reached out to the property's current resident, who then used a drone to scan the Grand Isles, Florida, property.

That resident then contacted the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, which confirmed it was a vehicle, it said in a statement.

The sheriff's office removed the vehicle from the pond, which they say was "heavily calcified" and had been in the water "for a significant amount of time."

"Upon removing the vehicle skeleton remains were found inside," the sheriff's office said.

On Tuesday, authorities identified the remains as that of William Moldt, who was reported missing on Nov. 8, 1997, after leaving a nightclub, authorities said.

Moldt left the club alone, and did not appear intoxicated, according to the Associated Press. He called his girlfriend to say he was leaving the nightclub and was not heard from again, the AP reported.