Update: The cage was secured with a blanket and some rope. He will probably be charged with child endangerment because that is an accident just waiting to happen. But this isn’t Darnell’s first lost of a child, his own daughter died five years ago of spinal meningitis. It is a tragic story.

Usually you just have to worry about your boyfriend shaking your baby to death, now you have to worry about the pets they keep. Shaiunna Hare,2 was in her bed sleeping when the 8 1/2ft long pet python of her mother’s (Jaren Hare,19) boyfriend, escaped it’s cage, wrapped itself around the girl, and squeezed until the little girl was dead. Charles Darnell,32 woke up the next morning to find the snake missing and started searching for it.

Lt. Bobby Caruthers of Sumter County Sheriff’s Department made the following statement:

“Wednesday morning he wakes up and discovers the snake missing from its container,” said Caruthers. “He went straight to the infant’s room and he described it as seeing the snake on the baby. He also described a bite mark on her forehead. He started stabbing the snake and removed the child from the room.”

Despite this tragedy, the fact that an exotic snake killed a baby, means a criminal investigation is underway for owning and keeping such a dangerous pet in the home with the baby girl. “We’re going to be interviewing (Darnell) and the mother further at the Sheriff’s Office,” Caruthers says. “They were very upset at the scene and that’s all we got out of them.”

In my opinion he either knew it was dangerous to keep a snake that size in the house with a baby, or there is something fishy with the story. Why else would he immediately start searching for the snake in the baby’s room.

Florida Fish & Game is also investigating because Darnell didn’t have a permit for the snake. Pythons are classified Reptiles of Concern because they escape or are released into the wild where they displace local wildlife.

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