The facts have shifted in the killer python story of two young boys strangled to death in New Brunswick, Canada. On Tuesday, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) revealed that they were conducting a criminal investigation into the case.
Brothers Noah, 4, and Connor Barthe, 6, are believed to have been strangled to death by a 100-pound, 15-foot long African rock python as they slept. They were visiting overnight in the apartment of pet store Reptile Ocean Inc. owner Jean-Claude Savoie.
He found their bodies on Monday morning and claimed to have noticed a hole that allowed the snake to travel from the pet shop on the first floor to the second-story apartment.
Reptile Ocean called the python deaths a terrible accident and closed their Facebook account. The African rock python in question was caught, killed, and confirmed to be destroyed by the RCMP.
Savoie said he hadn’t heard a thing while the killer python did its deadly work.
But something’s not adding up.
As reported by ABC, the Canadian authorities have now revealed that the python didn’t escape from the pet store. It was living in a tank in the apartment all along.
No charges have been filed yet. But RCMP has confirmed that it’s a criminal case.
In their report, the BBC said director of Montreal’s Ecomuseum Zoo David Rogrigue called the snake attack “difficult to believe…very extraordinary and very improbable.”
ABC’s expert also thought it was unusual that an African rock python would kill and not eat. They quoted an Ottawa reptile store owner Paul Goulet as saying, “Snakes only constrict for food.”
A Guardian report noted that New Brunswick natural resources director Steve Benteau said that no permit had been issued to allow the African rock python to be kept in the apartment.
Their sources speculated that the deadly python escaped its enclosure, crawled up, and then fell on the boys, more or less strangling them by accident.
The family also disclosed that the boys had played with farm animals earlier in the day. Goulet pointed out another possible way the accident could have occurred:
“If…an animal…smells like a goat, what is it? It’s a goat…The reasonable explanation of how this [could have] happened is that [the boys] had been playing with farm animals, they did smell like… prey items, and the snake sadly enough mistook them as a food item when they weren’t.”
As the RCMP releases more information, we may be in for more surprises in the killer python deaths of the two boys.
[wild African rock python in Kenya photo by Ryan M. Bolton via Shutterstock]