Texas Teen Committed Suicide by Cobra

Grant Thompson allowed monocled cobra to bite him: autopsy
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 13, 2015 8:53 AM CST
Updated Nov 15, 2015 10:30 AM CST

(Newser) – Authorities say a young pet-store staffer in Texas committed suicide with help from a cobra. Grant Thompson, 18, was found in cardiac arrest inside his car in a North Austin parking lot on July 14. An autopsy report, obtained by the Austin American-Statesman, shows Thompson suffered "multiple separate bites" on his arms from a monocled cobra. The bites "appeared to be intentional injection sites" as their marks gave no indication that the teen tried to pull away from the snake. The first bite, on Thompson's left shoulder, was consistent with a right-handed person deliberately allowing the bite, according to the report, per KVUE. The report—which notes cobra venom leads to paralysis, respiratory failure, and death within 30 minutes—adds Thompson "had a history of suicidal ideation."

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Shortly before he died, Thompson had posted a message on Facebook reading, simply, "I'm sorry," per the New York Daily News. Though authorities didn't find the cobra in Thompson's car, which was left with the door open, the snake was discovered dead on a nearby road days later. An empty cage, a viper snake, and numerous tarantulas were also found in the vehicle. Thompson, who worked at a pet store that his mother owns in Temple, lived in an apartment attached to the store; it isn't clear why he was in Austin, which is about 70 miles from his home. "Animals were a passion of his," his mother said, adding he had an animal-themed birthday party at age 4. "From then, he was hooked," she told the Daily News. An obituary said Thompson "died surrounded by animals that intrigued and fascinated him." (This farmer bit a cobra to death.)

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