The culprit of a Google Earth image which prompted fears it revealed a murder scene has been revealed – as a dog.
The shot, which showed what looked like a trail of blood leading down a jetty in the Dutch city of Almere, sparked speculation a body had been dragged along it.
A shadowy, though unidentifiable figure is seen standing at the edge of the water in the shot, which was taken by a Google Earth helicopter.
The scene which has prompted speculation on Reddit
Rather it’s the work of a soggy golden retriever called Rama.
Owner Jacquelina Koenen told the newspaper: “When I saw the picture I realised ‘It’s my dog’. He loves the water.
“He jumps off the end of the jetty, swims round to the bridge and runs down to the edge again.
“It’s hilarious that everyone thought it was murder. But it’s great he’s now world famous.”
The paper adds local police have confirmed Koenen’s story.
A sodden golden retriever is responsible for the 'murder trail' (file picture)
While the story whipped up a fair frenzy among the internet’s army of armchair detectives, many poured scorn on the murder theory.
As one Redditor pointed out: “Broad daylight may not have been the smartest of choices.”
Another added: "From what I can tell from looking at the images (you can zoom in a bit more than the image OP linked) is that this wasn't just in broad daylight, but in direct view of pedestrian traffic.
"Also there appears to be someone on a bike crossing the bridge and someone with a dog riding a bike just exiting the bridge. Those photos show that whatever is going on was in clear view of anyone across the lake or crossing that bridge.
"That brown smudge that looks like a body could very well be just a second person standing up.
"It's quite possible that it just may be two people fishing or something. Or you know murder."
And several were bang on the money that the image featured a water trail from a paddling animal. User lkdfmlksdm made the following photo:
Another user, shitty_hdr, made an even more detailed photo-based explanation: