UPDATE: 100 Pound Python Strangles 2 Brothers To Death
CAMPBELLTON, New Brunswick (AP) - A 100-pound (45-kilogram) python blamed in the strangling deaths of two Canadian boys apparently escaped from its pet store enclosure, slithered through a ventilation system and fell through the ceiling into the room where the young brothers were sleeping, the shop owner said Tuesday.
A snake expert said it was possible that the python was spooked and simply clung to whatever it landed on. Police are treating the deaths as a criminal investigation.
Autopsies on Noah Barthe, 5 and his brother Connor Barthe, 7, were being performed Tuesday. They had been visiting the apartment of a friend above an exotic pet store in Campbellton, New Brunswick, said Royal Canadian Mounted Police Const. Julie Rogers-Marsh.
Rogers-Marsh said the snake apparently escaped during the night and made its way into the apartment through the ventilation system. A friend of the boys was sleeping in another room and was unharmed, she said.
The pet store owner, Jean-Claude Savoie, told the Global News television station that he didn't hear a sound and discovered the "horrific scene" when he went into his living room, where the two boys had been sleeping, on Monday morning.
"I can't believe this is real," Savoie said.
The boys were the children of his best friend and were often at his apartment to visit his son, Savoie said. The python, which he has had for at least 10 years, had been kept alone in its enclosure and was not handled by anyone else, he added.
Police said the snake has been killed by a veterinarian.
The snake was about 4.3 meters (4.7 yards) long, RCMP Sgt. Alain Tremblay said. He said police were looking at whether the store followed the province's regulations on exotic animals.
"It's a criminal investigation," Tremblay said. "We're going to look at all avenues."
The RCMP's Major Crime Unit is continuing the investigation, with the assistance of a reptile expert from the Magnetic Hill Zoo in Moncton, New Brunswick.
The town's deputy mayor, Ian Comeau, said the Reptile Ocean shop was licensed to operate and "everything was according to our bylaws, to the provincial guidelines." He said he saw alligators, crocodiles and snakes when he toured the shop with the fire department about two years ago.
Snake expert John Kendrick, a manager at the Reptile Store in Hamilton, Ontario, said it sounds like the python was not enclosed properly and might have been spooked. He called the strangling deaths "very unusual" but said African rock pythons tend to be a little more high-strung.
"It's very odd that one would go out and seek out a person. They don't recognize us as food," he said.
Pythons can sense heat, and if they are startled they can grab something, Kendrick said. He said snakes are very long and their muscles run lengthwise through their body, so they are not very stable unless they are holding on to something.
"A snake that size that was just trying to hold on securely enough to make sure he felt like he wasn't falling or going anywhere; he has enough muscle power to cut off circulation," he said.
It's possible that the python was just holding on to what it landed on, Kendrick said.
"Once they are in constricting mode, any part of their body that is touching something that moves, they'll wrap it. I've seen snakes with two different prey items at the same time, one with the back of the body and one with the front. It could have been an incident like that."
CAMPBELLTON, New Brunswick (AP) - Autopsies will be performed today on two boys believed killed by a snake in an apartment in Canada.
Authorities believe a python escaped from its enclosure at the Reptile Ocean pet store in New Brunswick, slithered through the ventilation system and into an upstairs apartment, where the two brothers, ages five and seven, were visiting.
Police arrived at the apartment early Monday morning and found the brothers dead. A friend of the boys was sleeping in another room and was unharmed.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police say the snake was captured and is in the possession of police. They believe the python escaped from its enclosure sometime during the night.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Monday, December 9 2013 10:50 PM EST2013-12-10 03:50:54 GMT
Winter on Lake Coeur d'Alene means many things. People come from all over to see the lights illuminate the lake near the resort. More >>
Winter on Lake Coeur d'Alene means many things. People come from all over to see the lights illuminate the lake near the resort. But they also come for nature. And in the winter, that means Bald Eagles taking advantage of all of the fish. KHQ Local News Reporter Gabe Cohen tagged along with some eagle enthusiasts Monday morning.More >>
Monday night the Spokane City Council voted 6-0 to keep parking meters free in downtown Spokane during holidays. The council was considering limiting free parking days by removing certain holidays, such as Martin Luther King Day and Veterans Day, but voted against it.More >>
Monday, December 9 2013 9:49 PM EST2013-12-10 02:49:42 GMT
It may be the most wonderful time of the year as the holidays draw near, but there's nothing wonderful about this weather for many families across the Inland Northwest.More >>
It may be the most wonderful time of the year as the holidays draw near, but there's nothing wonderful about this weather for many families across the Inland Northwest who are dealing with frozen or burst pipes. The owner of First Response Plumbing told KHQ's Kelsey Watts on a normal day they have 3-6 scheduled appointments. But Monday? They responded to 14 calls. And on Saturday? They got 80.More >>
Monday, December 9 2013 9:10 PM EST2013-12-10 02:10:20 GMT
In a press release issued Monday evening, the Salvation Army says the mystery Gold Coin donor has once again dropped off the annual donation in a bell ringer's kettle.More >>
In a press release issued Monday evening, the Salvation Army says the mystery Gold Coin donor has once again dropped off the annual donation in a bell ringer's kettle. The Salvation Army says the donor wrapped the one ounce South African Krugerrand in a crisp $100 bill and dropped it in a bell ringer's kettle at the Fred Meyer Wandermere. As of Monday night, an ounce of gold is going for about $1,238 an ounce.More >>
UPDATE: A judge sentenced former Shadle Park teacher Ryan Murphy to 90 days of work release and restitution to the victim. Murphy must also relinquish his teaching license. On Monday Murphy struck a deal with prosecutors and pleaded guilty to 3rd Degree Assault in a Non-Sexual Manner.More >>
Monday, December 9 2013 6:58 PM EST2013-12-09 23:58:22 GMT
After considering all of the information presented, the appeals board upheld the original ruling by the University.More >>
After considering all of the information presented, the appeals board upheld the original ruling by the University Disciplinary Board that puts students Dan McIntosh and Erik Fagan on indefinite probation for a weapons policy violation.More >>
A sign posted to the front door Monday morning said it loud and clear: "Adams is closed." Frozen pipes led the fire suppression system to fail, causing the sprinklers to go off. Damages to the ceiling tiles, carpets and classroom materials totaled thousands of dollars spread across five classrooms at Adams Elementary in the Central Valley School District.More >>
Monday, December 9 2013 5:44 PM EST2013-12-09 22:44:11 GMT
KHQ.COM - Federal officials have filed five criminal cases against 18 current and former Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies.More >>
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Federal officials have filed five criminal cases against 18 current and former Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies as part of an FBI investigation into allegations of civil rights abuses and corruption in the nation's largest jail system.More >>
Monday, December 9 2013 4:20 PM EST2013-12-09 21:20:41 GMT
SPOKANE, Wash. - For anyone whose parents have moved into their home or for those looking to possibly rent out part of their home, houses with in-law type set ups are ideal. More >>
SPOKANE, Wash. - For anyone whose parents have moved into their home or for those looking to possibly rent out part of their home, houses with in-law type set ups are ideal. It's a great way to give yourself and the person living in your home separate space and it helps to keep the sanity. More >>