Venomous snakes removed from home, man’s death under investigation

Posted at 12:14 PM, Oct 02, 2012
and last updated 2012-10-02 20:25:37-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) - The body of a man found dead in his Chesterfield home did have a snake bite mark on it, according to Chesterfield Police Capt. Mike Louth. Louth could not say whether the 70-year-old man died from the snake bite.

"He had a history of medical issues, but also owned numerous snakes as pets," Louth wrote in an email to CBS 6. "He did appear to have suffered a snake bite and his body was transported to the Medical Examiner's Office to determine the cause of death in this case."

Chesterfield Police are investigating the death as "suspicious."

Chesterfield Animal Control assistant supervisor Robert Leinberger told CBS 6 reporter Tracy Sears the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries removed 24 snakes from the house Tuesday morning.

He said the snakes included venomous ones like copperheads and rattlesnakes.

Police have not yet identified the deceased, however the man's family identified him as Jack Redmond. Redmond, according to family friend Chip Hughes, was an avid collector of snakes.

Hughes provided CBS 6 with a statement from the family which read:

"Jack was a loving and wonderful husband and amazing friend to so many people. He loved old cars, travel, art, languages and old nature. He cared greatly about the environment. He was bravely fighting cancer and found ways to laugh and make everyone else laugh."

It is against the law to own poisonous snakes in Chesterfield County.

Leinberger said it appeared the snakes all lived in the same room inside the house on Hinshaw Road, off of Old Gun Rd. He added it appeared the snakes were healthy and well cared for and that the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries was contacting zoos and serpentariums hoping to find homes for the snakes.