The body of a man that had been missing for nine years was found inside a vehicle submerged in a pond near a funeral home in Michigan. It was a disturbing find for locals, who weren’t aware the car was sitting just below the surface of the water for almost a decade. But the creepiest part is that the faint shape of the car hiding the body can be seen in a bird’s eye view on Google Maps.
According to the Huffington Post, the body has been identified as Davie Lee Niles. The 72-year-old went missing on October 11, 2006, from Byron Township, Michigan. He had reportedly left a bar shortly before his death and wound up underwater in the funeral home pond, remarkably close to the last place he was seen.
WNEP reported that the body of Davie Lee Niles was essentially hiding in plain sight, only a few feet under in the pond. Not only that, but the car is clearly visible to anyone who logs onto Google Maps and views the funeral home plot overhead. Despite all that, Davie Lee Niles wasn’t found until a maintenance worker showed up to install lights on a Christmas tree. Once the worker got a high up view of the pond using a lift, the submerged car was apparently very noticeable.
“All of a sudden, it’s like, ‘Whoa, there’s a car out there,'” said the worker, Brian Houseman. “No one could ever see it. It was murky and things moved around.”
Authorities lifted the vehicle from out of the pond and were shocked to find the body of Davie Lee Niles stuck inside. Divers confirmed that the license plate belonged to the missing elderly man, but the Kent County Sheriff’s Department‘s had to identify Davie Lee Niles by his dental records.
The sheriff’s department released an official statement regarding Davie Lee Niles.
“A wrecker was contacted and pulled the vehicle out of the pond. Located behind the steering wheel was human remains, mostly skeletal. Also found in the vehicle was a wallet belonging to the missing person.”
According to Wood TV, police do not suspect that Davie Lee Niles was murdered. It’s possible that the man may have committed suicide. His son-in-law Scott Hathaway revealed the man had been suffering from depression and bone cancer at the time of his disappearance.
“I don’t know that we’re ever going to be able to determine if it’s suicide or accidental,” said Kent County Sheriff’s Lt. Ron Gates.
Family members claim Davie Lee Niles showed up at Jake’s Bar to meet a buddy the night he vanished, but he left quickly. This wasn’t unusual for Davie, however, due to the discomfort he often felt from the bone cancer.
The man’s family was relieved to finally have closure on their loved one’s long disappearance.
“For us today, it’s a closure of a long search,” said Scott Hathaway. “Why God waited nine years, I have no idea, but we’re happy.”
Davie Lee Niles’ family reportedly searched for him for five years before finally coming to terms with his death.
In 2013, they published the obituary of Davie Lee Niles that read, “Davie Lee Niles, age 72, of Wyoming, passed away and only God knows the time and place.”
Members of his family showed up at his final resting place in the funeral home pond on Tuesday to pay their final respects.
“It’s good to have him home,” said Hathaway.
What do you think happened to Davie Lee Niles?
[Photo by Google Maps]