AUSTIN, Texas—Police search for a cobra that may have led to the death of 18-year-old Grant Thompson. The teen resided in Temple, Texas.
UPDATE: The missing cobra has been found dead near the scene of Thompson’s death, according to a report by KVUE. The snake was found on I-35 near the location where its owner died after apparently being bitten by the snake while sitting in his car at a Lowe’s parking lot on the north side of Austin. The dead snake has been taken to an animal control facility where it will be stored in refrigeration as evidence in the investigation of Thompson’s death.
On Tuesday night, police found an unresponsive Thompson inside his vehicle at a Lowe’s parking lot in northern Austin. Upon finding him, responders noticed puncture wounds on his wrist and transported Thompson to St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center, where he later died according to KVUE.
Thompson served as a staff member at Fish Bowl Pet Express in Temple, Texas, and owned a monocled cobra, a highly venomous snake. The snake is believed to be the cause Thompson’s death.
Police recovered a non-venomous snake, a bullfrog, and six tarantulas inside Thompson’s vehicle, but the cobra was nowhere to be found in the vehicle or at Thompson’s home in Temple, roughly one hour north of Austin.
The black cobra is believed to have a tan underbelly with a large circle on its back. Police said the animal may still be in the Lowe’s area, and are asking people to call 911 if they spot the cobra.
An autopsy to confirm Thompson’s cause of death is scheduled for Wednesday and, in the meantime, officials actively search for the venomous cobra.
Follow Cassi Pollock on Twitter: @cassi_pollock