Woman found dead with python around her neck in Indiana

Woman found dead with python around her neck in Indiana

OXFORD, Ind. — Authorities in Indiana launched an investigation Wednesday night after a woman was found dead with an 8-foot reticulated python wrapped around her neck.

Someone called 911 in Benton County on Wednesday night after a woman became unresponsive at a home in Oxford, Indiana State Police said. Medics responding to the call were unable to resuscitate Laura Hurst, 36, of Battle Ground, according to investigators.

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Officials said Hurst died in a home filled with 140 snakes, about 20 of which belonged to her. She was a regular visitor at the home, which is owned by Benton County Sheriff Don Munson and specifically set up to house a collection of snakes, the Journal & Courier reported. Indiana State Police spokesman Sgt. Kim Riley told the Indianapolis Star that no one lived in the home.

State police said an autopsy will be performed Friday to determine Hurst's cause of death.

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

Munson, who lives next door to the house and who discovered Hurst on Wednesday, told the Journal & Courier that he was "being fully cooperative with everybody" as the investigation continues.