Boys killed by python died from asphyxiation, Canada officials say
TORONTO (AP) - The mother of two small boys strangled by a 45kg python in their sleep earlier this week in Canada had posted photos on Facebook last year of the boys playing in and cleaning her neighbour's snake enclosure.
Ms Mandy Trecartin's Facebook page has hundreds of photos of her sons, including a few showing Noah Barthe, 4, and Connor Barthe, 6, happily scrubbing the glass enclosure, which she identified as an anaconda habitat. It was not clear whether the enclosure is the one that held the python.
Preliminary results from autopsies performed on the boys show they died from asphyxiation, officials said on Wednesday. Hundreds of people in the shocked community of Campbellton, New Brunswick, gathered for a candlelight vigil on Wednesday evening in a show of support for the family.
The snake, an African rock python, apparently escaped from its enclosure, slithered through a ventilation system and fell through the ceiling into the room where the young boys were sleeping, authorities said. They had been visiting the apartment of a friend whose father owned an exotic pet store on the floor below.