We’ve all heard of the myth of the body found on Google Maps, but when it comes to police searches, it looks like Google might be more of a hinder than a help.
The remains of a missing Australian man could have been found over a year earlier if police hadn’t relied on Google Maps during their search, at least according to a coroner on the case.
Darrell Simon was last seen at his partner’s home, roughly 50 miles west of Brisbane, Australia, in 2014.
The 46-year-old’s property was combed by search teams, but his body was not discovered until May 2016, at which point the cause of death was determined to be suicide.
Deputy state coroner John Lock blamed incorrect boundaries on Google Maps as the reason for the delay, as volunteers only searched half of Simon’s property in Laidley Creek West.
His report, Lock said: “The fact the ground search was conducted over only half the property was very regretful and should not have happened.”
He also noted that the wait added to the grief of Simon’s loved ones.
The report continued: “One wonders if Darrell’s body was found during the first police search… whether such unhelpful and at times clearly defamatory and untruthful speculation would have even surfaced.”
Simon’s body was finally found by the property’s new owners, who discovered the remains during a drought.
Lock’s reported also suggested that police should begin using high-quality GPS mapping data when organising future searches, as well as work on boosting communication with search volunteers.