OU Student's Death Brings GPS Tracking Technology to Light
By Dave Jordan, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY – In the wake of OU student Julia Gilbert's death, many parents are showing an interest in tracking down their kids through GPS technology.
Oklahoma City police were about to track Julia's cell phone calls to pinpoint her last location, aiding in finding the missing Edmond woman.
This technology is already being widely used by cell phone producers across the board. For a small monthly fee, providers like AT&T, Sprint and Verizon allow you to track your children's whereabouts at any time.
NEWS 9 decided to put the technology to test to see just how accurate it is. Andy Morgan, a spokesman with AT&T, agreed to track himself using the company's Family Map program.
"Most teens carry a cell phone at all times and it's usually on. And that's all our service requires is that that cell phone is on," said AT&T spokesman Andy Morgan.
The system uses a global position satellite, or GPS technology, to track those kids through a computer or a phone with an Internet connection.
At the AT&T store off of Memorial Road in northwest Oklahoma City, Morgan was able to pull up a list of where he was that day in a matter of minutes.
"As long as that phone is somewhere where the satellite can see it, then it's very accurate. Otherwise then it relies on using triangulation between cell towers and it's sort of a guess," Morgan said.
Triangulation or pinging is what authorities used to track down Julia Gilbert who went missing Friday. Her body was found Sunday on Waterloo Road. That tragic development has parents interested in the new technology.
"We'll see some increased customer interest whenever something like that happens. People want to know what is it I can do to try and keep track of my son or daughter," said Morgan.
One parent recently used this same technology to pick up his daughter who was at a party and didn't know her exact location.
There are similar programs that are available through most cell phone providers and cost on average $10 to $15 per month, depending on how many phones are included in the plan.
More on News9.com: Edmond Police Find Julia Gilbert's Body in Wrecked Car