An Indiana woman found with an 8-foot-long python wrapped around her neck had apparently kept snakes at the residence, which was filled with snakes and outfitted for a collection of the reptiles, police say. Laura Hurst, 36, was found unresponsive Wednesday night on the floor of a home in the northern Indiana town of Oxford, with the snake wrapped loosely around her neck, says Indiana State Police Sgt. Kim Riley. The person who found the Battle Ground, Indiana, resident removed the reticulated python from her neck, but medics were unable to revive her, Riley says. An autopsy is scheduled for Friday, the AP reports.
"She appears to have been strangled by the snake," Riley tells the Journal & Courier . "We do not know that for a fact until after the autopsy." The home contained about 140 snakes, about 20 of which were owned by Hurst, who apparently kept them there and visited the Oxford home about twice weekly, Riley says. The home's owner had renovated it to house a collection of snakes, he says. The reptiles were caged or otherwise secured inside the building, Riley says. The Journal & Courier reports that property records show the house is owned by Benton County Sheriff Don Munson, who lives next door. He says he was the one who found Hurst. He calls her death a "tragic accident with loss of human life."
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