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Inspiration

Google Maps Image Shows Aerial Photo of Murdered Boy’s Body

By Hanssie on November 18th 2013

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.

Google-slain-boy-1

Screenshot courtesy of KTVU

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.”

Out of respect for the family, we've cropped out most of the image shown on Google.

Out of respect for the family, we’ve cropped out most of the image shown on Google.

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.**

[Via @Complex.com]

 

About

Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at www.hanssie.com. Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Kathy

    Just out of curiosity, why was the father Googling the area where his son was found in the first place? Seems a little morbid to me.

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    • Ryan Michael Wisniewski

      Morbid? Hardly. If someone I knew or loved was murdered I’d need all the information about the crime I could get my hands on.

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  2. Erik

    This is very painfull for the parent to be aware that there is a satelie picture of this horendouse scene of his lost boy. Thank you google for the decision to remove this.

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  3. Roe

    I have looked and looked at the picture, all I see is a police car parked next to some tracks. No people in the picture at all. Am I missing something??

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    • Hanssie

      We’ve cropped the image out of respect for the family. The original image shows the crime scene to the right of the police car

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  4. Roo

    So, you “believe the image is disturbing and should be taken down out of respect for whomever the person in the photo might be” but you have no qualms when it comes to posting it here for the clicks, huh? Nice.

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    • kim

      Didn’t you see where they said they cropped the image. So it does not show the body out of respect for the family…

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    • ITS ME

      @ kim…they cropped it but included a link for everyone to go to the pic on google for everyone to see what the big deal is about…

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  5. Jay

    Thy could just blur it like they do faces. What’s the big deal? A couple seconds of clone stamp/heal brush?

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    • Hanssie

      I don’t know. Even if it wasn’t his kid, it’s kind of disturbing to have it there. But I agree. Most of us could probably Photoshop it out pretty quickly.

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  6. A guy who reads carefully

    How many days are in an either?

    “…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 either days…”

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    • Hanssie

      “Either” = “eight” in “I’ve been up since 5am” language.

      Fixed now. Thanks for reading carefully :)

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