Google Promises to Remove Picture of Dead Teenager From Google Maps

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Jose Barrera's 14-year-old son, Kevin, was shot to death in 2009 and his body was found near the train tracks in San Pablo, Calif. Unfortunately for Barrera, four years later the entire world can still see the moment when cops were hovering over Kevin's dead body, because it appears in satellite photos on Google Maps. "When I see this image, that's still like that happened yesterday," Barrera told KTVU-TV over the weekend. "And that brings me back to a lot of memories," he added. 

The image of the crime scene and Kevin's body (above) can be found on Google's satellite view and is still there. It shows what looks like to be a group of policemen congregating and a police car nearby.  Google was told that their satellite picture captured Kevin's son, and said the company said it would try and correct it within a week. Google said in a statement: 

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. We believe we can update this in eight days, and we've spoken to the family to let them know we're working hard on the update.

This isn't the first time Google's Maps product has given us a glimpse of someone's personal life from high above. Back in February, a Russian woman reportedly found out her fiancé was cheating thanks to Google's Russian maps. There was a story in April of a possible murder (it wasn't) that was spotted on Google Maps. And there are even stories of people who plotted murders through Google Maps.  Barrera's would be one of the first times Google's satellite peeped something quite this grisly and painful. 

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The company has, in the past, come under fire for privacy issues because of its satellite imagery and Street View cars that get a little up close and personal with the public. That's why it blurs out people's faces when they end up in the photos. Barrera still feels like Google isn't being thoughtful enough. “Sorry is not all. Just to say sorry? It affects my whole family. They need to be more careful when they publish in the future," Barrera told KTVU. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.