As a mystery writer, I try to peer into the strange and mysterious side of Florida, which is part of the intrigue!
It’s not only my love for beach weather that compels me to set the Hunt for Justice Mystery Series in the Sunshine State. It’s the rich history. There’s also something about the contrast between the beautiful weather and mystery that makes stories more compelling, I think. Murder in Paradise is a tantalizing theme. Don’t you agree?
In my latest Hunt for Justice thriller, Night Justice, Judge Willa Carson kills a man. Or did she? Privately, the coroner says Evan Hayden was as good as dead from an overdose of toxic heroin when he lunged in front of Willa’s car. But the scandal mongers don’t know or care about the legal nuances.
Too often, the stories we hear about missing people do not end with all the answers. But sometimes these mysterious disappearances are solved in surprising ways.
One prime example is a missing person’s case that was solved, believe it or not, by Google Earth.
Property surveyor, Jerry Nyman, found a lot more than he was bargaining for when he was viewing his former neighborhood Moon Bay Circle in Wellington, Fla on Google Earth. On Aug. 28, 2019, he noticed what appeared to be the outline of a white car submerged in a retention pond. Surprised by the strange sight, Nyman called an acquaintance, Barry Fay, whose home was located near the area of the pond. Fay was unable to see the car from the edge of the pond. He then contacted a neighbor who owned a drone-mounted camera to help solve the mystery. With the drone, they were able to confirm that there in fact was a car in the pond just beneath the surface.
Image courtesy of sciencealert.com
Authorities were contacted and the car, a white 1994 Saturn sedan, was removed from the pond.
Human remains were found in the car, leading authorities to try to discover who it was.
DNA testing led investigators to a missing person’s case that was over 20 years old. William Moldt, age 40, had been reported missing Nov. 7 of 1997. Moldt had been at a club that night, where he had had several drinks. He reportedly left the club at 11 pm and was never seen again.
It’s believed that Moldt had lost control of his vehicle and careened into the pond. At the time, the area was under construction, which accounted for the lack of witnesses. The Saturn was heavily calcified upon its removal from the pond, verifying that it had been in the water for a long period of time.
Image courtesy of Palmbeachpost.com
The aerial view of the car had been visible online since 2007. But it was not noticed until 2019, thanks to Jerry Nyman.