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RICHMOND (KPIX 5) – Google has agreed to take down a satellite image on Google Maps that shows a crime scene involving the death of a 14-year-old boy.
Richmond police have confirmed that the satellite image that surfaced earlier this month was where Kevin Barrera was found fatally shot in 2009.
Officers said Barrera, was found shot to death along the railroad tracks not far from Sanford Avenue in Richmond. His killing has never been solved, and his father told KPIX 5 on Friday that the images renewed his grief.
“It’s a real pain to see those pictures on the internet,” said Jose Barrera. “That hurt me a lot.”
Kevin’s family said they only know that he was walking in his neighborhood one August night and called a friend to tell him that he was being followed. His body was found the next day.
After KPIX 5 first aired the story, Jose received a call from the vice president of Google Maps apologizing for the images.
On Monday, Google confirmed that they will replace the satellite images, something the internet search giant said it has never done.
“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,” Google Maps vice president Brian McClendon said in a statement to KPIX 5.
According to Google, the changes are expected to take about eight days.
Jose told KPIX 5 on Monday that he is grateful for Google’s decision, though it still pains him that the images were posted in the first place. He hopes that Google’s mistake will help bring attention to a murder case that has gone cold.
Google claims it has never encountered a situation quite like this. In the past, the search engine has faced lawsuits for privacy breaches related to its satellite imaging.
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