Two young brothers found dead in an apartment over a reptile store in New Brunswick, Canada, were believed to have been strangled by a snake that escaped its enclosure and slithered into the building's ventilation system, police said on Monday (August 5).

The boys, aged 5 and 7, were sleeping over at a friend's apartment above Reptile Ocean in the city of Campbellton. Their bodies were discovered on Monday morning, said Sgt. Alain Tremblay of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

"The preliminary investigation has led the police to believe the python snake had escaped his enclosure at the store sometime overnight and got into the ventilation system then into an upstairs apartment. It is believed two boys were strangled by the snake," Tremblay said.

"The snake was captured and is in the possession of the RCMP right now," added Tremblay.

Reptile Ocean did not respond to a request for comment. Autopsies on the boys were planned for Tuesday.

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