Texas man committed suicide using venomous snake, authorities say

Reuters News
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Posted: Nov 13, 2015 11:10 AM

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - The death of an 18-year-old man, found unresponsive in his vehicle in an Austin parking lot in July with an empty snake container, has been ruled a suicide committed using his venomous pet cobra, a county judge's office and a news report said on Friday.

Grant Thompson died of a venomous injection, and his death has been declared a suicide, a judge's office in Williamson County said without offering further details of the autopsy report.

Thompson had "multiple separate bites" on each arm and the bites showed no evidence that he tried to pull away from the snake, the Austin American-Statesman reported, citing the autopsy findings.

The bites came from a cobra that belonged to Thompson and had been in the container in the car, the newspaper said. The cobra went missing after the incident and was found several days later in the grass by a shopping area.

The bites “appeared to be intentional injection sites,” and Thompson “had a history of suicidal ideation,” the newspaper cited the report as saying.

Also found in the vehicle was a non-venomous snake in a crate, six tarantulas and one bullfrog, all later taken to Austin Reptile Rescue, police said.

(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Will Dunham)