A kidnapped 9-year-old girl was found yesterday thanks to Google StreetView.

Using technology more commonly seen in television crime dramas, an Athol police officer and a deputy chief in the town’s Fire Department were able to track a woman and her allegedly kidnapped 9-year-old granddaughter to a motel in south-central Virginia.

They notified Virginia State Police, who yesterday arrested Rose M. Maltais of 14 Grove St. without incident around 4:15 p.m.

Natalie Maltais will soon be back home with her legal guardians after Virginia State Police found her with her 52-year-old grandmother, Ms. Maltais, at the Budget Inn in Natural Bridge, Va.

This according to Worcester Telegram & Gazette

He said coordinates kept coming in within 300 feet of each other.

“Then I Googled it,” he said.

Deputy Chief Lozier said that on the Internet search engine site Google there is a street view where people can look at photographs of neighborhoods in many locations.

Using the street view, he was able to look back and forth from the intersection.

Looking across a field, he said he saw a long building with a red roof that looked like a motel. He then did a search on Google for motels in Natural Bridge and found the Budget Inn-Natural Bridge, which, on a map, appeared to be close to the intersection he was looking at.

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3 Responses to Kidnapped girl found thanks to Google StreetView

  1. Kelly says:

    hi how r u

  2. M says:

    As the article is presented above, it’s a very blurry one.

    “He said coordinates kept coming in within 300 feet of each other.”
    Where did those coordinates come from? If it was from witnesses, then StreetView hasn’t much to do with solving the case.

    “Using the street view, he was able to look back and forth from the intersection.”
    Very suddenly, ‘the’ intersection appears in the article – without saying anything about what’s with that intersection. Again – if witnesses saw the child on that intersection, then StreetView hasn’t much to do with solving the case.

    “Looking across a field, he said he saw a long building with a red roof that looked like a motel. He then did a search on Google for motels in Natural Bridge and found the Budget Inn-Natural Bridge, which, on a map, appeared to be close to the intersection he was looking at.”
    Well.. You don’t need streetview to find motels, or it’s address. You can just use a citymap, as police did for maybe 100 years. Again – because ‘the’ intersection is introduced in this article without any clarification, this article can’t be used for proof that StreetView was needed here or solved anything.

    Again: i’m not saying ‘it’ did not happen – i’m saying that, as the article is presented now, we can’t make much of it.

  3. Paul M says:

    If you follow the link to the second article, it goes into much more detail which is more clear. Above is only a short quote.

    Basically they got the coordinates by tracing a bunch of cell phone calls from the abductor. A bunch of the calls seemed to be clustered in one area. Using google street view, the detective was able to look around the area and noticed that one of the buildings in the area appeared to be a motel. On a hunch they decided to see if they where staying in the hotel, and as it turned out they were.

    So basically the detective was able to canvas an area visually by using Google Street View and let his deductive reasoning and intuition come to a conclusion about the location. I’d say that’s pretty cool, and an awesome use of Street View.

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