Woman found dead with 8-foot python coiled around neck in home filled with 140 snakes

An Indiana woman was found dead Wednesday night with an 8-foot python coiled around her neck inside what police described as a “reptile home” filled with 140 snakes.

Laura Hurst, 36, of Battle Ground, Indiana, was found inside the snake-filled home in Oxford, Indiana with a reticulated python loosely coiled around her neck, Indiana State Police Sgt. Kim Riley told the Indianapolis Star. Medics were unsuccessful in their attempts to revive her.  

“She appears to have been strangled by the snake,” Riley told the Lafayette Journal and Courier. “We do not know that for a fact until after the autopsy.”


FILE: A reticulated python lies coiled up in its enclosure on February 18, 2018 in the Bronx Zoo's reptile house in the Bronx, New York. (Photo by Andrew Lichtenstein/ Corbis via Getty Images)

An autopsy is scheduled for Friday. 

Out of the 140 snakes kept in the home, Hurst owned 20 of them, the paper reported. 

Hurst also visited the home about twice a week, Riley said. 

No one lives in the home, which is “made for the keeping of snakes,” Riley told the Star. 

Property records showed that Benton County Sheriff Donald E. Munson owns the home, according to the Star. But Riley could not confirm the information, WLFI-TV reported

Riley told the station that Munson lives near the “reptile home.” 

Munson told the Journal and Courier that Hurst’s death was a "tragic accident with loss of human life." He said he was "being fully cooperative with everybody."

This story was reported from Los Angeles.