Mobile phone with Pokemon Go screen up against wooded background

A Wyoming teen discovered a body in a river while playing Pokemon Go.
Image: Matthew Corley /

Pokémon Go has been in the news since the game launched on July 7. The game allows players to catch Pokémon in the “real world” by using GPS to determine your location and then populate it with Pokémon that would be there, based on the geography and other factors. It’s been in the news because its immense popularity crashed servers, and because people are reporting how good the game is for their anxiety or depression, or how all the walking they do for the game is helping them lose weight.

It also led a Wyoming teen to discover a dead body in a river near her house. Shayla Wiggins was heading toward to river to catch Pokémon near a natural water source when she saw the body of a man floating about three feet from the shore. She called the police, who estimate that the body hadn’t been in the water for more than 24 hours. They haven’t made any more comments about it yet.

Understandably, Wiggins was upset by the situation. She described it as shocking and said that she cried over it for a while. That’s to be expected, as finding a dead body can be a traumatic experience. But the fact that she found the body isn’t a bad thing, in the long run.

She climbed a fence in order to head for the river, which implies that people aren’t normally by the stretch. Had she not been hunting for Pokémon there, that body could have gone unnoticed for much longer. While it likely would have turned up eventually, thanks to rivers having currents, finding it as soon as they did means that the police will have an easier time identifying the body and determining cause of death. Wiggins may have had a traumatic experience, but she might also help solve a murder. And even if the death was an accident, at least the man’s family and friends can have some closure.