Originally created 05/24/04

Police looking at link between box of snakes and death of traveler



LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Police are investigating a link between a mysterious box of venomous snakes and the death of a business traveler whose body was found in a rental car last week.

Police said they believe there is a connection between Garrick Wales, 48, of Kilmacolm, Scotland, and a box of box of four deadly African snakes found the day after his body was discovered near the Little Rock airport. Police will not say why they believe a connection exists.

Investigators said Wales was surrounded by vomit, but they have not released autopsy results or said whether he died of snake bites.

The box held a 14-inch-long twig snake, a 6-foot-long green mamba, a 4-foot-long black mamba, and a 5-foot-long forest cobra.

An electrician who found the box near a downtown interstate took the snakes to the Little Rock Zoo, which turned the snakes over to a zoo in Texas that has experience with those types of reptiles.