Oct 31, 2020 | Updated: 09:48 PM EDT

A Google Maps Image Shows A 2009 Murder Scene

Nov 19, 2013 02:28 PM EST


After landing in hot water over yet another Google Maps image, Mountain View has already agreed to remove a satellite-captured still apparently showing the body of Kevin Barrera, who was 14 when he was shot and killed in Richmond, California. The image, which Barrera’s father discovered last week on Google Maps’ satellite view shows what appears to be a crime scene, with police officers standing around a body.

“When I see this image, it’s still like that happened yesterday,” the father told KTVU-TV in Oakland. “And that brings me back to a lot of memories… What's the point to show those pictures to the people, you know -- pictures of my dead son? This is really painful to the whole family."

Kevin Barrera’s killer has never been found.

As of Monday, the image was still available on Google Maps. While Mountain View has agreed to replace the image, it has declined to take it down entirely until a substitute photograph can be acquired. The company says this may take as long as eight days and that they have already reached out to the Barrera family to keep them abreast of the situation.

"Our hearts go out to the family of this young boy," said Brian McClendon, vice president of Google Maps, in a written statement sent Monday to CNN and other media outlets. "Google has never accelerated the replacement of updated satellite imagery from our maps before, but given the circumstances we wanted to make an exception in this case."

This is hardly the first time Google has faced controversy over it Maps product. Several private communities, as well as branches of the U.S. Military have successfully appealed for the removal of images both from Street and satellite view. In Germany, households have the option to opt out of Google’s Street View and have their addresses blurred from images.

More: Google, Maps
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