Pet python strangles two-year-old girl

By Calvin Palmer

A 12-foot pet Burmese python escaped from its glass aquarium in a Florida home and strangled a two-year-old girl this morning.

Lt Steve Binegar, of the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office, said Shayunna Hare was strangled by the snake in the town of Oxford, about 50 miles northwest of Orlando.

The owner of the snake, Charles Jason Darnell, 32, the boyfriend of the girl’s mother, Jaren Hare, 23, awoke and found the snake missing.

He ran to the girl’s bedroom and found the snake wrapped around the girl and stabbed it to make it loosen its grip and then called 911.

When deputies arrived on the scene around 10:00 a.m., they discovered the girl was dead.

Darnell told the deputies that he left the snake inside a bag that was placed inside an aquarium when the family went to sleep last night. He also owns another six-foot python.

Sheriff’s Lt  Bobby Caruthers said that both snakes remained in the house this afternoon and that deputies were awaiting a warrant to get into the home to retrieve the reptiles.

Jorge Pino, a spokesman with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said that pythons are not native to Florida and can easily grow to 10 or 12 feet long. He also said owners need a license to possess a python in the state because of its threat to humans and its impact on the environment if it is set free or escapes.

Darnell does not have the required permit and owning a python without a permit is a second-degree misdemeanor.

Darnell and Hare, who have been together for about a year, were being questioned at the sheriff’s office this afternoon. No charges were immediately filed.

[Based on reports by the Tampa Tribune and Associated Press.]

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10 responses to “Pet python strangles two-year-old girl

  1. dave cooney

    a message to Charles Jason Darnell, the owner of the snake, but not the father of the dead child: Please, Please, Please kill yourself as painfully, and as soon as possible. The world is much too small and precious a place to suffer fools like you. In true, typical, unfather-like fashion- you kept a lethal snake in the same house with a child. I only wish that worthless pet would’ve killed you, instead of the innocet baby. Please heed my call, and kill yourself before the childs funeral. Thank you.

    • hans rasmussen

      i cant believe there are idiots like this blogger im speaking too dave cooney you are a big piece of shit with your nasty ass comments you my friend need to find a life what happened was a tradegy non the less your iq scores a negative 5% you need help dave go to church on sunday and beg for forgivness because you yourself should kick the bucket the world would be a better place,oh yeah get off the drugs to you idiot………..

      • Paula Z

        And in the end, the baby is dead, the snake will likely be put to death just for doing what its biological makeup implores it to do, and the owner will get off with nothing but a ticket.

        Keeping a lethal animal in an unsecured aquarium is no different than leaving a loaded gun laying around. This is involuntary manslaughter in my opinion. Pity no amount of blame assignment will bring the child back.

    • Nathanielus

      You spelled “innocent” wrong, rendering your post worthless.

  2. And the real loser here is the snake because:
    1. the states aint burma
    2. the dude stabbed the snake
    3. if it aint dead then theyre gonna kill it.


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  4. Alex

    This news story strikes me as highly suspicious. Snakes do not normally seek humans for food, and they operate primarily by following scent. I am wondering: is this poor child’s death actually a murder, made to look like a “random” snake attack? Pet pythons are usually sustained on a diet of mice, rats and/or rabbits. The baby could have been scented with these food items (ie, placing a rabbit in the baby’s crib). A snake would not differentiate between a human being that smells like its food. The story about the boyfriend waking up, finding his snake had “escaped”, and then finding it wrapped about the baby’s body is just that: his story. How can it be verified? I hope this baby’s death is investigated further. Snakes, being unpopular in our culture, make for a convenient “villain” — which might just be what this pet owner was counting on.

    • calvininjax

      Like you, Alex, such a thought had crossed my mind, but without the detail regarding the modus operandi. There could well be more to this story than meets the eye.

  5. Glen P

    Yes, wondering about that too. Something doesn’t seem right here.

  6. zelda

    “Something doesn’t seem right here”???? You got it nailed.
    They were probably high on something and thought it would be fun to watch the snake eat the child.
    I have had it ……….these nut bars need to be thrown in a hole somewhere and just forgotten.

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