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Google will remove image of dead teen from Maps

November 19, 2013|By Andrea Chang
  • Google's logo adorns a wall at its Mountain View, Calif., headquarters. The company said it would remove a satellite image that appeared to show a dead teenager in Richmond, Calif.
Google's logo adorns a wall at its Mountain View, Calif., headquarters.… (Kimihiro Hoshino / AFP/Getty…)

Google Inc. has agreed to remove an image that appears to show a dead teenager after the boy's father complained to the Internet search giant.

Google, usually resistant to requests to remove images, said it would make an exception in the case of 14-year-old Kevin Barrera, who was beaten and shot to death in August 2009. The slaying is unsolved.

The satellite image appears on Google's Maps feature, and according to Barrera's father, shows the teen lying on the ground near the Richmond, Calif., railroad tracks where he was killed. Jose Barrera said in an interview with KTVU-TV of Oakland that the the image brings up painful memoires of losing his son and that he wanted it removed.

Google said it had spoken with the Barrera family and had agreed to take the image down.

"Our hearts go out to the family of this young boy," said Brian McClendon, vice president of Google Maps, in a 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."

The image will take up to eight days to delete, the company said.

In the image, which was still visible Tuesday morning, several police officers appear to be standing by a body next to a curve in the railroad tracks southeast of the intersection of Duboce Avenue and Cherry Street; a police cruiser waits nearby. Barrera's body was found in the same area on Aug. 15, 2009.

Google has not responded to requests for comment.


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