A dead woman and two Capuchin monkeys were found in a south Florida motel room over the weekend, and the finding has left police of North Port baffled. The woman and monkeys were not alone when they were found. An incoherent man was also found inside the room, according to Daily Mail Online. Police are hoping that this man will be able to offer an explanation for the woman’s death. He was treated by medical personnel after the discovery.
After some investigation, the North Port Police Department did release an update about the crime scene via their Facebook page.
“The scene at the Budget Inn has been released. The preliminary investigation has revealed the deceased woman found is Linda Marie Smith (3/17/56) of Arcadia. The other male subject found in the room was incoherent and received medical attention. He is being questioned for his involvement. His name is not being released at this time. Additional details we can release are that a note was found in the room. There were also no obvious signs of trauma to the Smith’s body. The cause of death is undetermined at this point.”
The police plan to conduct an autopsy on the woman’s body on Monday. The text of the note found at the crime scene were not released by the police. When found, the two monkeys were inside crates. They have now been taken by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and they will likely be placed with another owner once they are checked and cared for.
Capuchin monkeys removed from room. In good hands. pic.twitter.com/nllRD3w7kQ
— North Port Police (@NorthPortPolice) January 29, 2016
The Capuchin monkeys were in good health https://t.co/TuXaQDyFNj
— M.E. MEDIA POST, LLC (@middleastmedia1) January 31, 2016
It is legal for residents of Florida to own a Capuchin Monkey as an exotic pet. In order to own a monkey, one needs to have 1000 hours of experience or 100 hours of experience and pass a written test. At this time, there are less than 50 people in the state of Florida who have the necessary license to own such a pet. It is not known if Linda Marie Smith is one of those individuals.
As for the man found with the woman and the two monkeys, a police spokesperson spoke with FOX 13 about the man’s demeanor when they arrived.
“The gentleman was a little combative. We have taken him in for questioning in hopes that he will answer some of the questions of why these folks were here, why this situation came to be.”
There is a lot to known about Capuchin monkeys. The primates are easy to train, and that makes them a popular choice for people to take as pets. A Capuchin monkey was one of the highlights of the Night at the Museum trilogy starring Ben Stiller.
The Rainforest Alliance revealed that, “Capuchin monkeys are very clever and easy to train. Because of this, they are used to help people who are quadriplegics in many developed countries. They have also become popular pets and attractions for street entertainment, and are hunted for meat by local people. As they have a high reproductive rate and flexibility of habitat, loss of the forest does not negatively impact the Capuchin monkey populations as much as other species.”
A recent study involving the Capuchin monkey showed that these primates do exhibit behavior that is similar to humans. The study, conducted at Yale University, showed that the Capuchin monkey will exhibit spiteful behavior. If the monkey feels someone has had more than their fair share of food, they will pull the plate of food away from someone.
According to Nature World News, Kristin Leimgruber, now studying at Harvard University, revealed that Capuchin monkeys are capable of psychological spite, which is a trait associated only with humans previously. This means that the trait may have developed further back in human’s evolutionary history.
As for the Capuchin monkeys found in the North Port, Florida, motel room, they were in good condition when found. The police are hoping that the man found in the motel room will shed more light on reasons behind the discovery of the woman and two monkeys.
[Photo via Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images]