It’s hard to think what our world would be like without technology, specifically Google. Thanks to Google Earth, there are images and views of places for everyone to experience. Some cool, some creepy, and some downright bizarre! The images have even solved a few interesting mysteries, one of which was the mysterious disappearance of Davie Lee Niles on October 11, 2006.
The 72-year-old was last seen at Jake’s Bar in Bryon Township, Michigan – a bar which Davie frequented. Family members stated that he met a friend there but left suddenly. They said that it wasn’t unusual for him to just get up and leave due to discomfort caused by cancer along with depression.
Since that day, no trace of the elderly father was ever found. His family lost hope of finding him and in 2011, they held a funeral and published an obituary stating, “Davie Lee Niles, age 72, of Wyoming, passed away and only God knows the time and place.”
Nine years after Davie’s disappearance, a man named Brian Houseman decorating a Christmas tree from atop a lift spotted an odd object in a nearby pond that looked to be a car. He was working outside Cook Funeral Home in Byron Center and the pond was just about half a mile from the spot where Davie was last seen. Brian said: “All of a sudden, it’s like, ‘Whoa, there’s a car out there.'”
“No one could ever see it. It was murky and things moved around,” he added. Incredibly, the image of the car was clearly visible in the water from an overhead satellite image on Google Maps.
After spotting the submerged vehicle, Brian called the Kent County Sheriff’s Department to notify them about it. A Dive Team responded to the scene and confirmed that there was indeed a car in the pond and wrecking crews pulled it from the water, finding skeletal remains in the driver’s seat.
As it turned out, the car was under Niles’ name and authorities on the case found his wallet inside. As news of the discovery broke, the family of the presumed driver gathered around the site to pay their respects. One relative said, “For us today, it’s a closure of a long search. Why God waited nine years, I have no idea. But we’re happy. It’s good to have him home.”
Authorities said they were waiting on dental records to positively identify the remains, but they did believe it was Niles. Once the autopsy on the body was complete and dental records returned, the family planned to have a proper funeral for him.