The mother of two small boys strangled by a 100-pound python in their sleep earlier this week in Canada had posted photos on Facebook last year of the boys playing in and cleaning her neighbor's snake enclosure. Mandy Trecartin's Facebook page has hundreds of photos of her sons, including a few showing Noah Barthe, 4, and Connor Barthe, 6, happily scrubbing the glass enclosure, which she identified as an anaconda habitat. It was not clear whether the enclosure is the one that held the python.
Preliminary results from autopsies performed on the boys show they died from asphyxiation, officials said today. The shocked community planned a vigil today. Authorities planned to remove other animals from the pet shop, though an RCMP sergeant said the 14-foot python had been kept inside the second floor apartment, not the pet store. A snake expert said it was possible that the python was spooked and simply clung to whatever it landed on. Police said the snake—which is not allowed in New Brunswick—was killed by a veterinarian.