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Python’s strangling of 2 boys in Canada studied

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT
Caption
(APphoto)
A memorial sits outside the Reptile Ocean exotic pet store Tuesday in Campbellton, New Brunswick, Canada. Autopsies will be performed Tuesday on two young boys who were strangled in their sleep by a large African rock python that escaped from the pet store and slithered into the living room of an apartment upstairs from the pet store.

TORONTO – A 100-pound python blamed in the strangling deaths of two Canadian boys apparently escaped from its enclosure, slithered through a ventilation system and fell through the ceiling into the room where the young brothers were sleeping, authorities said Tuesday.

A snake expert said it was possible that the python was spooked and simply clung to whatever it landed on. Police are treating the deaths in Campbellton, New Brunswick, as a criminal investigation.

Autopsies on Noah Barthe, 5 and his brother Connor Barthe, 7, were being performed Tuesday.

The brothers had been visiting the apartment of a friend whose father owned an exotic pet store on the floor below, Royal Canadian Mounted Police Sgt. Alain Tremblay said at a news conference in Campbellton. Tremblay said the African rock python was being kept inside the second floor apartment, not inside the pet store as authorities had previously stated.

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