The recent release of Pokémon Go for iOS and Android systems has players literally roaming the countryside in search of virtual Pokémon. The augmented-reality game uses the GPS in players’ phones to direct to physical locations where they can catch nearby Pokémon in the game. Gamers use a map overlay in the game that directs them to move to landmarks and then catch the famous pocket monsters in-game.
For one Wyoming Pokémon Go player, a search for Pokémon led her to a dead body instead. Shayla Wiggins, a Riverton, Wyoming resident, wanted to find Pokémon located near a natural water resource, according to County 10. She went to the nearby Big Wind River and jumped over a fence to get into the area designated by the game to find her next catch.
In place of a Pokémon, she discovered the body of an unidentified man floating in the water. The teen told County 10, “I was walking towards the bridge along the shore when I saw something in the water. I had to take a second look and I realized it was a body.” She quickly called 911 and reported her discovery to authorities, who confirmed Wiggins did indeed find the body of a drowned man.
In a press release, the Fremont County Sheriff’s office stated that the body of an adult male was found in the Big Wind River. The Sheriff’s Office reported the cause of death appeared to be accidental drowning, and suspected no foul play.
The game has gained popularity rather quickly, and in response, Police departments and businesses are already warning gamers to use caution when playing Pokémon Go. The Northern Territory Police department in Australia used Facebook to advise gamers, “It’s also a good idea to look up, away from your phone and both ways before crossing the street. That Sandshrew isn’t going anywhere fast. Stay safe and catch ‘em all!” The department also reminds gamers that even though a PokeStop is located at their station, players do not have to go inside to capture it.