Report: Death by cobra bite investigated as possible suicide

Photo courtesy Mark Sloat, City of Austin.

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Photo courtesy Mark Sloat, City of Austin.

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Austin police confirm they are investigating the death of a man apparently bitten by a cobra as possible suicide.

Officials found the cobra believed to have bitten and killed an 18-year-old Central Texas man dead as they prepared to conduct a detailed search for the missing snake Friday morning.

Austin Animal Protection Supervisor Mark Sloat said someone called 911 early Friday morning to report finding a dead snake.

The snake was found on the side of the frontage road of Interstate 35 near the home improvement store parking lot where Grant Thompson was found unresponsive Tuesday. He had puncture wounds on his wrist.

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Thompson, who was transporting the snake in his car, was later pronounced dead.

Sloat said an autopsy will be conducted and the snake will be held as evidence until it's determined how Thompson died.

Thompson worked at a pet shop in his hometown of Temple.

Several other animals found in the car with Thompson, who was unresponsive, were rescued by animal control. Those animals included another snake, six tarantulas and a bullfrog.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.