911 Call Was for Unresponsive Man. Cops Found a Lot More

Police find dead body, but also 200 snakes, a crocodile, and a toddler in Pennsylvania home
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 25, 2023 11:30 AM CDT

Police in Pennsylvania's Beaver County made quite a find this week while responding to a call about an unconscious man. The Beaver County Times reports that when officers arrived at the rental residence in Aliquippa, they didn't find an unconscious man, but a dead one—a 23-year-old whose cause of death was unclear. That wasn't the only discovery made by first responders, however: There were also a whole lot of exotic reptiles, including a dwarf crocodile and 200 snakes, between 60 and 100 of them venomous varieties such as cobras, rattlesnakes, and black mambas.

Police, who note a roommate made the initial 911 call, say there was also a 3-year-old girl in a high chair, situated just 1 foot from a latched tank holding some of the poisonous snakes, prompting a call to the county's children's services department. WTAE reports that the deceased, who was said to be from Missouri, did have a snakebite mark on his wrist, but that a toxicologist had determined it was an older bite; it has been ruled the bite wasn't what led to the man's death. Police say the home's residents included four adults and the toddler, and that they'd moved within the past few months to Aliquippa from out of state.

Two of the adults were reportedly running a business that sold reptiles—which Jim Bologna, an Aliquippa code enforcement officer, says is legal if one has a permit. City code, however, bars keeping venomous reptiles inside a private residence. The occupants were allowed to keep which nonvenomous reptiles they had, while the others were removed. They could face fines of up to $1,000 per venomous creature. "The neighbors should not be concerned," Bologna tells WTAE, noting that "professionals checked the exterior of the house and the surrounding yards." Neighbors tell the outlet, however, that the discovery has them shaken. "I don't even know if I [can] walk to the bus stop," one nervous man says. (More strange stuff stories.)

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