In what is shaping up to be one of the weirdest stories of the year, authorities have revealed a Maryland man has been found dead in his home with 100+ snakes surrounding him. Making the story even more gruesome is the fact that some of the snakes are venomous. Local police responded to the man’s home after a concerned neighbor reached out to authorities after seeing the man lying unconscious on the floor following a welfare check.
Details of the Death
The man, 49, had not been seen for several days prior to his neighbor checking in on him. The Charles County Sheriff’s Department released a statement detailing how the man was found, including details pertaining to the snakes in his home. Fire department and Emergency Medical Services had to force their way through the home’s front door. They found the man lying on the floor surrounded by more than 100 snakes. The man was immediately declared dead after responders discovered he had no pulse.
Police who responded to the scene indicate there is no evidence of foul play though it is possible one, or several, of the snakes bit him. His body was subsequently transported to Baltimore’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for an autopsy. However, we do not yet know the identity of the man.
It is quite concerning that the emergency personnel who responded to the neighbor’s call for assistance found a variety of different snakes inside the dead man’s home. Making the matter even more odd is the fact that the neighbors had no knowledge of the man’s love of snakes. In fact, neighbors indicate they did not know he owned a single snake. The police reached out to the Charles County Animal Control to rescue the snakes with assistance from snake experts from both Virginia and North Carolina.
Jennifer Harris, a public relations specialist with Charles County Animal Control, contacted WUSA9, stating that the department spent the day tagging and bagging in excess of 125 snakes. Harris made it clear to the man’s neighbors that they should not be worried since the rescue crew tagged and bagged every snake.
Harris stated, “I do want to assure the community, [and] anybody living in this neighborhood, we have not seen that any of the snakes were not properly secured or could have escaped. I know people were worried that there could be some danger to people living nearby, but at this point, we have not uncovered or determined that any of the snakes actually were not secured after this gentleman’s death.”
An Inside Look at the Snake Haul
The snakes tagged and bagged from the property included a 14-foot Burmese python. An animal control representative states the python was by far the largest snake within the house. In fact, Harris revealed the snakes hauled away from the dead man’s house constitute the largest collection of snakes the rescue crew has removed from any property in more than three decades. The snake collection included cobras, rattlesnakes, and black mambas.
Though the house had several cages for the snakes, the reptiles found their way out of their cages. Police who responded to the call for assistance reported the snakes were crawling along the floors, walls, ceilings and even the dead man’s body when they arrived.
It is worth noting Harris’s comments to NBC Washington reveal the owner of the snakes supposedly cared for them in a meticulous manner, stacking the cages in an orderly fashion throughout his home, feeding the animals and providing them with sufficient water.
Harris went on to state the following to NBC Washington: “We don’t anticipate that there was any security issue with any of the snakes escaping. He was well-known by his neighbors in the community, but nobody had just basically ever been inside his home to know that this part of the home life was going on.”
A Snake-Lover Worthy of Respect
Snake owners get a bad rap for allegedly being infatuated with the animal kingdom’s symbol of evil and cruelly feeding mice and other rodents to their pets for sustenance. Owning a snake is somewhat odd, but there are some benevolent snake owners worthy of respect and cordiality. The man described above appears to have been one such individual.
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The Charles County Chief of Animal Control told Harris he had not seen any suspicious activity in the home, nor had the man received any complaints pertaining to snakes or animal abuse in the home. The discovery of the property owner’s body surrounded by nearly 150 snakes came as a complete surprise. Neighbors indicate the man was “quiet, nice, and pleasant”.