Mother outraged to see Pokémon Go players inside cemetery

- A Sarasota mother is outraged after finding people playing Pokémon Go inside the cemetery where her young son is buried.

Stacy Woodruff visited her son's grave at Palms Memorial Park in Sarasota Tuesday. She says she saw a teen with his phone out, who appeared to be playing the game.

She reported it to management, who told her they had seen numerous strangers inside the cemetery with their phones playing the game.

Screenshots show several of the game's landmarks are spread throughout the privately-owned cemetery.  It is not gated.

​"A cemetery is not a place to play games. It is a place to pay respects to the deceased and you know, like I said, a lot of people find this to be their safe spot and I feel like mine's invaded now," said Woodruff.

Service Corporation International owns the cemetery and acknowledged the issue in a statement to FOX 13.

"We are aware that Palms - Robarts Funeral Home & Memorial Park has been identified as a 'hotspot' in the new Pokémon Go game. Cemeteries, by their nature, are quiet and serene spaces designed to serve as a final resting place and to provide families with a place to honor their loved ones. Palms - Robarts Funeral Home & Memorial Park is privately owned and out of respect for the families we serve, Pokémon Go players are asked to refrain from loitering and playing the game while on the property," the statement reads.

Woodruff is asking that the developers remove the cemetery landmarks from the game.

"When were crying over our loved ones they don't understand the hurt behind that. And if they did understand the hurt behind that, I don't think that they would be here playing the game in the first place," said Woodruff.

Representatives from the Pokémon game developers have not responded to repeated requests from FOX 13 for comment.

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