A Maryland man, who had over 100 snakes in his home, was found dead in January. An autopsy has now revealed that he died of accidental snake envenomation, or a snake bite, NBC News reports.
Authorities visited the residence to conduct a wellness check when they discovered the body of 49-year-old David Riston. Upon entering, they also realized that Riston had 124 snakes “meticulously cared for” in cages stacked throughout the house. There were rattlesnakes, cobras, black mambas, and a 14-foot-long Burmese python, among others.
“Nobody seemed to be aware that he was harboring snakes inside the home,” Charles County spokesperson Jennifer Harris said of Riston’s residence. Harris believes one of these snakes in his house is responsible for Riston’s death.
Harris initially suspected that there wasn’t any concern about a snake escaping from its cage. “We don’t anticipate that there was any security issue with any of the snakes escaping,” she said. “He was well-known by his neighbors in the community, but nobody had just basically ever been inside his home to know that this part of the home life was going on.”
However, these latest findings by the state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner suggest that this scenario may have been exactly what happened to Riston. It’s going to be difficult to get to the bottom of this since out-of-state exotic animal experts were called to the residence to remove the snakes the day after his death.