Python Strangles Child
A 2-year-old North Central Florida girl is dead after deputies say she was attacked by her family's pet snake.
The incident happened at about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday at a home near County Road 466 and County Road 227 near the city of Oxford, west of The Villages.
The Florida Wildlife Commission has now determine that the family did not have a permit to keep a Burmese Python in their home.
TV20's Sarah Pusateri shows us what the girl's parents say happened.
It's truly something out of a nightmare, a two year old girl, thought to be killed by the family's pet snake, now how the snake got out of it's cage, sheriff's officials are investigation.
It was a scene of distress. Twenty three year old Jaren Hare sobbed into the arms of a friend outside her Oxford home.
Just hours ago she, had learned her 2 year old daughter,Shaiunna Hare, was dead.
Lt. Bobby Caruthers with the Sumter County Sheriff's Office says,
"This morning we got a call at around 10 am about a child that was apparently strangled by a Burmese Python."
Thirty two year old Charles Darnell, who is the live- in boyfriend of the child's mother and the owner of the albino python, told Sumter County Sheriff's Officials that he had locked the snake up in an aquarium in the living room last night.
Lt. Caruthers says, "He said when he woke up this morning, the snake was missing.
He immediately goes to the infants bedroom and he describes it as seeing the snake wrapped around the child, he also described an apparent bite on the forehead of the child."
Darnell told sheriff's officials he stabbed the almost 9 foot snake several times before finally calling 911.
It was too late however, the girl was dead.
Joy Hill with the Florida Wildlife Commission says,
“It's certainly safe to say that large constricter snakes which pythons are, you should definitely use due dillegence no matter who you have in the house, because they can certainly swallow a small child,” said Lt. Joy Hill of the Florida Wildlife Commission.
Investigators say an autopsy will have to be done before the true cause of death can be determined.
The Florida Wildlife Commission says the family did not have a permit for that type of snake.
Sheriff's officials say the family also had a 6 foot long boa constrictor in the home.
Two children were also living at the home.
The Florida Wildlife Commission says the snake will either be rehabilitated or euthanized depending on its injuries.
Listen to the 911 call here.
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