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Google Maps will speed up efforts to replace satellite image depicting slain teen’s body

By Travis Gettys
Tuesday, November 19, 2013 7:44 EDT
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Google Maps shot slain California teen
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Google will fast-track its efforts to replace a satellite image from its map service that shows the body of a slain California teenager.

The Google Maps image shows police standing near the body of 14-yeart-old Kevin Barerra, who was found shot to death in 2009 along some railroad tracks in Richmond.

The teen’s father, Jose Barrera, said he found out about the image last week and has asked Google to remove it out of respect for his son.

“When I see this image, that’s still like that happened yesterday, and that brings me back to a lot of memories,” Barrera said.

Brian McClendon, vice president of the Google Maps service, said the company would make an exception to its policy and accelerate the replacement of the satellite image.

“Our hearts go out to the family of this young boy,” McClendon said in an email statement. “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.”

McClendon said he believed the image could be replaced within eight days, and he said he’d contacted the Barerra family to tell them the image would be replaced as quickly as possible.

Participants in a Reddit message board debunked a theory in April that another Google Maps image depicted a homicide as it was under way.

The satellite image appeared to show a bloody murder scene on a lakeside dock, but Reddit users zoomed in closely on the shot and determined it was only a wet dog.

 
 
 
 
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