Google Maps and it’s satellite view can be disconcerting when you can pull up a clear image of your house and see your car parked in the driveway. But even more so, imagine pulling up the area where your son was found murdered and seeing the actual crime scene with the body still lying there. In a bizarre coincidence, that is what allegedly happened to one California man.
In 2009, 14-year-old , Kevin Barrera was found beaten and shot to death next to some railroad tracks in Richmond, CA. Having one of the highest crime rates in the nation, finding bodies in the area is not an uncommon happenstance. Last week, Jose Barrera discovered a Google Maps satellite image he believes shows the body of his son. In the image, still visible on Google Maps right now, a police car is parked next to train tracks and people, presumably police officers investigating the scene, are standing off to the side of a body. Barrera, believes that this is the body of his murdered son and has asked Google to take it down.
“When I see this image, that’s still like that happened yesterday,” Barrera told KTVU in California. “And that brings me back to a lot of memories.”
The images is watermarked “Google 2011,” though the murder occurred in August 2009, so the image may not even be of Barrera’s son. In any case, Barrera may have quite the battle on his hands as Google is reluctant to take images down in fear that it may begin an barrage of requests from people who wants photos they dislike taken down.
[REWIND: Street Photography With Google Glass]
Whether it is the body of Kevin Barrera or not, I believe the image is disturbing and should be taken down out of respect for whomever the person in the photo might be.
Sadly, Kevin’s murder was remains unsolved.
**Edited to add: Before this article published, Google released a statement to news media stating that they would indeed take the image down and replace it but it will take up to eight days to do so.**