Reports into boys' python deaths still under wraps
RCMP says investigation into deaths of Connor and Noah Barthe is a top priority
The RCMP and two government departments will not comment on investigations into how two young Campbellton boys were killed by an African rock python while they were sleeping over at a friend’s house last month in the northern city.
Connor Barthe, 6, and Noah, 4, were killed by the python in an apartment above Reptile Ocean, a pet store. The brothers' bodies were discovered on Aug. 5 and a preliminary autopsy found they died of asphyxiation.
Officials have said they believe the snake, which was 4.3 metres long and weighed about 45 kilograms, made its way through the top of its enclosure and into a ventilation system before falling through the ceiling and into the living room of the apartment where the boys were sleeping.
Paul Greene, a spokesperson for the RCMP, said the Bathurst major crime unit is continuing its investigation.
He would only say that officers have made the case a top priority but would not comment on any timelines on the investigation.
African rock pythons are not permitted in New Brunswick. The only exceptions granted would be for accredited zoos, not for someone to keep an illegal exotic animal as a pet.
- Boys killed by python continue to 'heal people's hearts'
- N.B. boys' python deaths prompts provincial review
- Python pet shop tied to boys' deaths had 27 illegal animals
Reptile Ocean is an unlicensed zoo and pet store, according to officials.
Premier David Alward said on Aug. 16 that the Department of Natural Resources would examine the provincial government’s regulations that govern exotic animals.
On Wednesday, the department would not say if the review was underway.
The provincial government would not comment on what a review would be examining.
The federal government also promised to look at its role in the tragedy.
Environment Canada assisted the Moncton SPCA in relocating the African rock python to Reptile Ocean in Campbellton in 2002.
However, the federal government would not provide any information as to the status of its review.
New Brunswick’s Office of the Coroner has indicated it will investigate the death of the two brothers. But that process cannot start until any criminal proceedings, if there are any, conclude.