UPDATE: Python Strangles 2 Brothers To Death - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

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."

PREVIOUS STORY:

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.)

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Exposed handlebar grip kills 6-year-old Pullman boy in bicycle crash

    Exposed handlebar grip kills 6-year-old Pullman boy in bicycle crash

    Wednesday, August 15 2018 2:13 AM EDT2018-08-15 06:13:21 GMT

    PULLMAN, Wash. - Six-year-old Denny Curran should be enjoying his last few days of summer before first grade. He should be teasing his brother, splashing in the pool, giving his parents a hard time about vegetables. Instead, Denny is dead, the victim of a horrific, freak bicycle accident that could happen to your child too. "Denny was an extraordinary child," his father Keith Curran told KHQ.

    >>

    PULLMAN, Wash. - Six-year-old Denny Curran should be enjoying his last few days of summer before first grade. He should be teasing his brother, splashing in the pool, giving his parents a hard time about vegetables. Instead, Denny is dead, the victim of a horrific, freak bicycle accident that could happen to your child too. "Denny was an extraordinary child," his father Keith Curran told KHQ.

    >>
  • Police say possible bad batch of drugs hits Spokane

    Police say possible bad batch of drugs hits Spokane

    Thursday, August 16 2018 2:25 AM EDT2018-08-16 06:25:12 GMT

    Spokane, Wash. It's been 24 hours of chaos for Spokane's police and fire departments. They have been running from call to call with reports of people walking in the middle of the street yelling at random people or at objects that don't exist. What Caused it? The Spokane Regional Health District is still struggling to find out "What we are hearing is that these individuals are demonstrating almost what would be what looks like a stimulant psychosis,"  said Doctor Bob...

    >>

    Spokane, Wash. It's been 24 hours of chaos for Spokane's police and fire departments. They have been running from call to call with reports of people walking in the middle of the street yelling at random people or at objects that don't exist. What Caused it? The Spokane Regional Health District is still struggling to find out "What we are hearing is that these individuals are demonstrating almost what would be what looks like a stimulant psychosis,"  said Doctor Bob...

    >>
  • SPD Reserve Officers set up bike sting that yields three arrests on drug and theft charges

    SPD Reserve Officers set up bike sting that yields three arrests on drug and theft charges

    Thursday, August 16 2018 9:18 AM EDT2018-08-16 13:18:26 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - The Spokane Police Department set up a bike sting in the Mission and Hamilton area on Wednesday in an effort to reduce property crime numbers and ended up making three arrests. 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - The Spokane Police Department set up a bike sting in the Mission and Hamilton area on Wednesday in an effort to reduce property crime numbers and ended up making three arrests.  The area has seen numerous calls for thefts, burglaries, drug calls and assaults recently, according to the Spokane Police Department and the sting operation was put together by SPD Reserve Officers wanting to do their part to curb crime in the community. 

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Athletic Director Rob Spear fired by University of Idaho

    Athletic Director Rob Spear fired by University of Idaho

    Thursday, August 16 2018 1:47 PM EDT2018-08-16 17:47:52 GMT

    The University of Idaho has fired Athletic Director Rob Spear.  Spear had been placed on administrative leave since April following the University's botched handling of a woman's sexual assault complaint against a football player.  "The Board moved to terminate for convenience, pursuant to Doctor Spears' employment agreement with the University," Communications Chief Mike Keckler told KHQ.

    >>

    The University of Idaho has fired Athletic Director Rob Spear.  Spear had been placed on administrative leave since April following the University's botched handling of a woman's sexual assault complaint against a football player.  "The Board moved to terminate for convenience, pursuant to Doctor Spears' employment agreement with the University," Communications Chief Mike Keckler told KHQ.

    >>
  • Colorado man arrested after pregnant wife, 2 children vanish

    Colorado man arrested after pregnant wife, 2 children vanish

    Thursday, August 16 2018 1:14 PM EDT2018-08-16 17:14:26 GMT

    FREDERICK, Colo. (AP) - A Colorado man has been arrested in connection with the disappearance of his pregnant wife and their two young children, authorities say, after previously telling media how upsetting it was to be alone in their normally bustling house after they vanished earlier this week. Chris Watts, 33, was taken into custody Wednesday, according to police in the town of Frederick, about 28 miles (45 kilometers) north of Denver.

    >>

    FREDERICK, Colo. (AP) - A Colorado man has been arrested in connection with the disappearance of his pregnant wife and their two young children, authorities say, after previously telling media how upsetting it was to be alone in their normally bustling house after they vanished earlier this week. Chris Watts, 33, was taken into custody Wednesday, according to police in the town of Frederick, about 28 miles (45 kilometers) north of Denver.

    >>
  • Trump wants federal suit against opioid manufacturers

    Trump wants federal suit against opioid manufacturers

    Thursday, August 16 2018 1:10 PM EDT2018-08-16 17:10:05 GMT

    WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump is asking Attorney General Jeff Sessions to file a federal lawsuit against certain companies that supply and manufacture opioids.    Speaking during a Cabinet meeting Thursday, Trump said he's directing Sessions to file a separate lawsuit, rather than joining existing lawsuits filed by states affected by the spread of the often-lethal, highly-addictive drugs.

    >>

    WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump is asking Attorney General Jeff Sessions to file a federal lawsuit against certain companies that supply and manufacture opioids.    Speaking during a Cabinet meeting Thursday, Trump said he's directing Sessions to file a separate lawsuit, rather than joining existing lawsuits filed by states affected by the spread of the often-lethal, highly-addictive drugs.

    >>