OXFORD, FLA – The mother of a 2-year-old girl who was strangled while she slept was arrested along with her boyfriend. Sumter County officials say Jaren Ashley Hare, 19, and Charles Jason Darnell, 32, were arrested on charges of manslaughter, third-degree murder and child abuse in the death of Shaunnia Hare, who was killed in July at her Oxford home.
Last month Darnell woke up to find his 8.5 foot pet albino Burmese python in a strangling Shaunnia, Hare’s daughter. “Our stupid snake got out in the middle of the night and strangled the baby,” Darnell said in a 911 call.
Emergency medics could not revive the girl.
Darnell did not have a permit to have the snake. The Humane Society of the United States said including Wednesday’s death, at least 12 people have been killed in the United States by pet pythons since 1980, including five children.
Matt Harrison, a Critter Control employee who has worked with pythons for more than eight years, said the animals are extremely strong.
“A 12-foot snake is kind of like having a truck sitting on your chest. They have enough power not only to asphyxiate you, but to break bones as well,” said Harrison.