A man’s body and more than 100 snakes — some venomous — were found in a Southern Maryland home this week, according to the Charles County Sheriff’s Office.
The cause of death for the 49-year-old man remains a mystery, officials said in a news release. His name has not been released by authorities, but multiple media outlets identified the man as David Riston.
Among the snakes found in the home was a 14-foot Burmese python, NBC4 reported.
Investigators say the discovery was made around 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 19, in the unincorporated Pomfret community, about 30 miles south of Washington, D.C.
“Officers responded to a single-family home ... after receiving a call from a neighbor who indicated he went to check on the resident, whom he had not seen since the day before, and observed the resident lying on the floor and unconscious,” the sheriff’s office said.
Emergency responders forced their way through the front door and discovered the man was dead, the sheriffs office said.
There were no signs of foul play, officials said. An investigation into how he died is underway.
“Inside the house, more than 100 venomous and non-venomous snakes of different varieties were discovered in tanks situated on racks,” the sheriff’s office said.
“The decedent was transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for an autopsy.”
Among the species of snakes kept in the home were “cobras, black mambas, pythons and rattlesnakes,” Fox5 reported. Venomous snakes are not allowed to be kept as pets in Maryland.
Charles County Animal Control officers were working with reptile experts in Virginia and North Carolina on a plan to “rescue” the snakes.
Tri County Animal Shelter, which serves as the county’s animal shelter, reports the final count of snakes is more than 120.
“Terribly sad that this person passed away and it appeared that he took very good care of his snakes,” the shelter wrote in a Facebook post.
“Our Charles County Animal Control officers were amazing in the way they handled this case. They got the call last night and within 24 hours they had all the snakes placed with experts who would care for them properly.”