An erroneous Google map led the Australian police on a wild goose chase making it difficult for them to find the body of a missing man. According to the coroner investigating the case Darell Simon was last seen alive towards the end of November 2014 about 80 kilometers west of Brisbane and though search crews scoured his property they did not find any remains until 2016 May. The map which was used by police showed wrong details of the extensive rural property of Mr. Simon so they searched only have of his property located in West Creek region of Queensland.
The inability of police to find Simon’s body caused grief to his parents, family and friends as they could not find a closure in his disappearance. According to coroner John Lock this delay led to speculations that he could have become victim of some disagreement and met his end due to foul play. After his body was found in 2016 his death was ruled as a suicide. Though the local police and volunteers searched the region where he was last seen and from one end of the property to another they could not find the body as they did not have the right details of its boundaries.
But the thick vegetation across his property was in some way responsible for volunteers to not find his body easily even after combing the region for several days. His remains were discovered after almost a couple of years when the property’s vegetation was being cleared by its new owners. The coroner reported that Google Maps were not very helpful in determining boundaries of a person’s property and police should resort to using mapping data and high quality GPS to improve their communication systems while searching with volunteers over a large area. Local police has since decided to use appropriate data and latest technologies in their investigations.