Apryl Lopez, her sister, and another female friend were playing the popular Pokémon GO game in a wilderness area in San Diego on Thursday afternoon when they stumbled upon a ghastly scene. San Diego Police Department public affairs officer Travis Easter told CW6 News the body found in Marian Bear Memorial Park in North Clairemont around 3 p.m. was in a badly decomposed condition and that no immediate reports of foul play are connected with the male corpse. Lopez described finding the body to KGTV 10 News.
“I froze, stopped in my tracks, looked my friend and my sister in the face and said, ‘I think I just found a dead body.’ I looked down and I saw the legs, the bones of a dead body with no feet and no ankles and it looked like they had been chewed.”
Los Angeles Times notes that San Diego police believe the man found decaying in the bushes in San Clemente Canyon may have been homeless and that he probably “died of natural causes.” An investigation into the unidentified man’s death will be conducted.
Horrible as Thursday’s discovery was, the dead man in Marian Bear park was not the first corpse to be found by Pokémon GO players this past week.
Yesterday, a man tracking the virtual creatures was surprised to find a dead body floating in a creek near a “Pokestop” in downtown Nashua, New Hampshire. Nashua police Lt. Robert Giggi told the Patch that the unidentified body in Salmon Brook at Rotary Park belonged to a male of indeterminate age, and that an autopsy to determine cause of death was scheduled the next day. GameSpot quoted Lt. Giggi:
“I don’t know much about the Pokemon game, but apparently they are looking in obscure places for something that has to do with this game which is what brought the person who found the victim to that area.”
On July 9, 19-year old Shayla Wiggins was playing Pokémon GO when she found a deceased male floating face down in Wyoming’s Big Wind River. Wiggins downloaded the brand-new app on Thursday morning and “captured” some 50 augmented virtual reality critters the same day. Last Friday, Wiggins wended her way to the Big Wind River, just behind her home in Riverton. CNN reports that the teenage Dairy Queen worker was hoping to catch a water Pokemon.
Wiggins spotted two deer under the Highway 789 Bridge but did not immediately notice the dead body a few feet away. When she looked up from her phone, she saw the body and called police.
“I probably would have never went down there if it weren’t for this game. But in a way, I’m thankful. I feel like I helped find his body. He could have been there for days.”
Wiggins told reporters that she intends to continue exploring her central Wyoming town while playing Pokémon GO until she heads to Arizona to attend college this autumn.
Forbes describes the newly released Pokémon GO as a new app based on Nintendo’s 1996 game of the same name. The augmented virtual reality game takes place in a world inhabited by “pocket monsters” and can be played on an Apple phone or Android device. The gist of the game is the same as the video game: Capture creatures and train them to fight other Pokémon. The new GO version of the game involves GPS tracking that prompts players to “find” Pokémon in real-world locations. When a virtual Pokémon is found, the game opens the device’s camera and shows the player the creature they’ve located. One big difference between the first Pokémon game and the 21st century version is that the GO app encourages players to get out of the house and move around.
[Photo by Charles Sykes/AP Images]