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NY Press: Pet snake suspected in death

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Posted by: W von Papinešu at Thu Jun 16 06:15:43 2011  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by W von Papinešu ]  
   

MID-HUDSON NEWS (Middletown, New York) 16 June 11 Pet snake bite suspected in death of Putnam woman
Carmel: A Putnam Lake woman is dead and police think it might have been from a bite from one of the several pet snakes that she and her boyfriend kept in their home.
Putnam County Sheriff Donald Smith said Aleta Stacey, 56, of 21 Hopewell Dive, was found dead at her home on Tuesday evening, June 14, after authorities were called there by her boyfriend, Vito Caputo, 46. He reportedly called 911 when he came home from work shortly after 7 p.m. and found Stacey lying in bed, her body unresponsive and cold.
When Putnam deputy sheriffs arrived on the scene, they were met by some 75 snakes of various species, many of them venomous, being kept as pets in the home. The snakes were found secured in glass aquariums and acrylic pens.
Caputo told police he believed one of the snakes, described as a five-foot long, extremely poisonous African black mamba, one of the world’s deadliest snakes, had bitten Stacey.
He told police he found the lock off that snake’s pen when he got home, an indication the victim had been handling the serpent before she died. Officers observed what appeared to be possible snake bite bounds on one of her forearms.
An autopsy has been scheduled to determine the exact cause of death.
Officers from the state DEC, the Putnam County SPCA and a snake handler from the Katonah-Bedford Animal Center were called to the scene Tuesday evening to determine what action might be warranted with the snakes. On Wednesday afternoon, at the direction of the DEC, they were removed and taken to the Bronx Zoo.
Pet snake bite suspected in death of Putnam woman


   

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