The shocking deaths of two young brothers has everyone asking: how could a python strangle the boys in their sleep?
Five-year-old Noah and seven-year-old Connor Barthe were at a sleepover at a friend's apartment located over a pet store in New Brunswick, Canada.
Police say that sometime during the night, a 16-foot African rock python escaped from its cage in a pet shop and slithered through an air duct into the room where Noah and Connor were sleeping.
Their friend's father, who owns the pet store, described finding Noah and Connor in a phone interview: "I thought they were sleeping until I saw the hole in the ceiling. I turned the lights on and I saw this horrific scene and the snake was gone." [Source: CBC]
INSIDE EDITION's Les Trent spoke to Tom Stalf of the Columbus Zoo and asked, "How could something like this happen?"
"I can tell you that a snake would investigate, and they're either seeking warmth or they're seeking food," said Stalf.
Another escaped monster snake, an albino Burmese python, was captured in Hialeah, Florida. It took four adults just to hold it.
YouTube videos show the massive size of the Africa rock python posted by owners who actually keep them in bathtubs. They are very aggressive snakes. In one video, a snake even attacked the cameraman.
Little Noah and Connor didn't stand a chance against the python that strangled them.
Stalf said, "I'm assuming the animal did weigh 100 pounds. So therefore, with the weight of the snake, the boys couldn't get free."
This isn't the first time a powerful python has killed a defenseless child.
911 caller: "Our snake, we have a Burmese python, and she's about 12-foot long. She got out of the cage last night, and got into the baby's crib and strangled her to death!"
That's the panicked 911 call after two-year-old Shaianna Hare was strangled to death by her mother's 12-foot-long Burmese python in Florida in 2009.
A tear rolled down her mother's cheek as she and her boyfriend were both found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to 12 years in prison. In court, her boyfriend said, "There's no way I would ever case any harm to any of my children."
The python that killed Noah and Connor was captured, and police are investigating whether this tragedy could have been prevented.