A Missouri man dies from snake bite after saying he couldn’t afford hospital bill. A Nixa woman woke up and found her boyfriend laying beside her dead. Gilbert De Leon was bitten by a cottonmouth snake twice on Friday afternoon while wading through the James River. De Leon was found dead on Saturday, and his girlfriend said he had refused to get treatment for the snake bites.
Gilbert De Leon, 37, was bitten by the cottonmouth snake on each of his legs while wading at the Delaware Access southwest of Nixa – with his girlfriend, Shellie Johns. The Missouri woman said that he yelled out to her and said he had been bitten twice on his legs by a snake, according to Christian County Coroner Brad Cole.
“I’m not sure what kind of snake bit him, but the only venomous water snake I’m aware of is a cottonmouth,” Cole added during an interview with a local newspaper.
Shellie Johns said that she begged Gilbert De Len to go to the emergency room and get treatment for the cottonmouth snake bites, but he refused.
“That evening he got lethargic but just wouldn’t go to a hospital. They went to bed and she reported he was snoring more loudly than usual. The next morning when she woke up she found him dead,” the Missouri coroner also noted.
Missouri is home to five species of venomous snakes, including cottonmouths, copperheads and three species of rattlesnakes. Cottonmouth snakes are also commonly referred to as water moccasins. The snakes is black in color and can reportedly often be misidentified for other varieties of harmless water snakes. Folks who live near or frequently visit the James River told local reporters that water moccasins are often spotted in the waterway.
The coroner said the fang marks on Gilbert De Leon’s legs were 3/4 of an inch wide.
“We’ve sent off for lab tests that will take about eight weeks to get back,” Cole stated. “The lab won’t tell us anything about a snake bite, but it will say if there was a drug overdose or alcohol overdose. However, I didn’t find anything else that looked to me like the cause of death was anything other than a snake bite.”
The cottonmouth snake bites on De Leon’s legs reportedly indicated that the snake which attacked him was small in size. Christian County law enforcement officials did not reportedly unearth any evidence of foul play or other factors which could have caused his death.
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