Vehicle of man missing for nine years visible on Google Maps

A nine-year-long missing persons case appears solved after employees of a Michigan funeral home spotted the top of a car in a nearby pond last week. Employees at the Cook Funeral Home were using a lift to decorate a Christmas tree when one of them spotted the vehicle.

Employees of the funeral home in Byron Center, MI, told Fox59 that the car was hard to spot in the murky pond. It took an eagle-eye view using a mechanical lift for them to notice it at all. Jalopnik reported that the car is clearly visible on Google Maps. When police hauled the wrecked car out of the water they found a human skeleton in the driver's seat.

The car belonged to Davie Lee Niles, who was last seen on October 11, 2006 leaving a local bar about a mile and a half from the pond. Niles apparently abruptly left the bar, which friends and family say wasn't unusual for him, as Niles was suffering from cancer and depression. After that night neither he, nor his car, were ever seen again. Authorities found Niles' wallet at the scene, but declined to officially identify the remains until they could confirm with his dental records.

The family had a feeling this news was coming. They printed an obituary for Niles five years after he went missing. The family told Fox59 that they're happy to finally have closure. After the police are done with their autopsy, the family plans on holding a proper funeral.

Google Maps is a powerful tool. This isn't the first time someone spotted a missing car using the program. In 2013, a man found his stolen SUV using this technology. You can also use the program to tour museums dedicated to Lamborghini, Mazda, and Ducati.

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