Google Maps captures image of murdered teen

By Danielle Middleton topicIcon Internet News

Google asked to remove image of murdered teen

A father in Richmond California has requested that the search engine take down a satellite image from its Google Maps data base, as he states it shows the body of his teenage son.

The controversial image depicts police officers stood at the scene of the murder of Richard Barrea's 14-year-old son, who was shot and killed in 2009.

Mr Barrea informed US TV channel KTVU of the image, stating: "When I see this image, it's still like it happened yesterday. And it brings me back to a lot of memories."

Kevin Barrea's body was found on a path near railroad tracks that separate North Richmond from San Pablo on 15th August 2009; the murder has yet to be solved with police unable to establish a motive or identify suspects.

Google to make amends

Google has often stated its reluctance to remove images in response to user requests in the past. However, following Mr Barrea's request that Google remove the image out of respect for his son the search giant has stated that it is working to replace the image in this instance.

Brian McClendon, Vice President of Google Maps said:

"Our hearts go out to the family of this young boy. Since the media first contacted us about the image, we've been looking at different technical solutions. 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."

Natalie Booth, head of search at theEword said: "This is not the first time Google Maps has been caught up in a controversial situation, and the company is not known for readily removing content from its database at the request of users. However, their response to Mr Barrea's disturbing discovery is positive, indicating the search engine's willingness to make amends and that this had been previously undetected."