DailyMail- Police officers who took three-and-a-half months to find the body of a missing man were slammed by a coroner after it was revealed they used Google Earth to search for him.
Ricky Hill was reported missing from Royal Derby Hospital, in the East Midlands, the day after he was admitted for taking an overdose following the break-up of his marriage.
A huge search of the local area was conducted to find the 30-year-old in September 2014, but it was nearly four months before his body was found hanged in January 2015, just yards away from the hospital.
Yesterday Sergeant Michael Smith-Beard, a police officer assigned to find Mr Hill, gave evidence at Derbyshire Coroner's Court and admitted using a Google Earth map to conduct the search.
Dr Robert Hunter, senior coroner for Derbyshire, expressed his dismay and said: 'I have been in my house for three years and Google maps show it is a field.'
Sgt Smith-Beard, of Derbyshire Police, also admitted he was 'very disappointed' his team did not search woodland where Mr Hill's body was eventually found.
You ever drive by a cop car a little too fast, or looking at your phone just a little too hard, or with your seatbelt a little too not buckled whatsoever and proceeded to prep for the inevitable pullover only to look in your rearview and see that there are no flickering lights in chase? You know why that is? Well, it's certainly not because they didn't see you. More likely it's because the members of law enforcement can be lazy pieces of shit just like us, and that means they are prone to cutting corners when completing the more labor intensive aspects of their job. Usually that just means letting a heavy footed driver continue to swerve through traffic unimpeded (as long as it's not the end of the month) because doing paperwork suuuucks. In this case, it just so happened that a local PD didn't want to work up a sweat or risk getting Lyme's disease by trudging through a nearby forest looking for a (potentially dead) body.
All things considered, I can't really blame them. If the payoff of a hard day's work was getting first hand look at a rotting corpse I might be prone to take the technological route as well. It's not their fault Google Earth is outdated and incapable of zeroing in through the trees to give up-to-the-second glimpses of what may very well be a newly single 30 year old hanging from a tree. What good is the internet if it can't make an exhausting physical undertakings doable from a leather chair in an air conditioned office? Maybe Sergeant Suck-Up should have been little more clear with his instructions, because as far I am concerned these guys did their job. They certainly didn't do it to the best of their abilities, but how are they supposed to patrol our streets and have time to check on the novelty of the information superhighway?
Could their hastiness have cost a man his life to a rope and first layer of his flesh to decay? Sure, but I'll be damned if it didn't open up a Friday afternoon for some officers to bang out a couple hundred parking tickets. What? You think saving suicidal runaways is going put money in the state's pocket? That's what I thought. Using Google Earth to sleepwalk their way through a manhunt wasn't lackadaisical, it was financially responsible!