An Indiana woman was killed by an 8-foot reticulated python that was found wrapped around her neck, an autopsy revealed.
Laura Hurst was found dead in a house owned by Benton County Sheriff Don Munson that was designed specifically to house 140 snakes, Indiana State Police said.
An autopsy released by Indiana State Police shows the preliminary cause of death was asphyxia due to strangulation by a snake.
The 36-year-old mother of two owned about 20 of the 140 snakes and she visited the property "about twice a week," CNN reported.
Munson, who lives next door to the house, found Hurst with the snake wrapped around her neck, an Indiana State Police spokesperson told the Lafayette Journal & Courier. The snake was able to be extracted but, she was unresponsive.
Hurst’s death was a "tragic accident with loss of human life," Munson told the Lafayette Journal & Courier. He added that he is "being fully cooperative with everybody."
The snake that killed Hurst was a reticulated python, which can weigh up to 350 pounds and is considered to be the longest snake in the world, growing upwards of 20 feet long.
Attacks by captive pythons are not entirely uncommon. At least 16 people between 1978 and 2009 have been killed by pythons in the U.S., a study found.