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Arrest in snake venom death

A 51-year-old man has been arrested in the 2014 death of a two-year-old girl, and RCMP believe she was poisoned by snake venom.

Police say Henry Thomas had the girl in his care on May 18, 2014, and returned her to her mother that day in North Vancouver. The next morning, the girl's mother reported that she was dead.

Police say an in-depth investigation unfolded from there, and in July 2015 officers searched the man's home where snakes and related equipment were seized.

The RCMP say further DNA work was done in the following years and tests confirmed that snake venom was the cause of the two-year-old's death.

Thomas was arrested last week, and police say he's been charged with failing to provide the necessaries of life.

"This is a very tragic incident that resulted in a complex, unique investigation by police and support agencies," says North Vancouver Supt. Chris Kennedy. "Our condolences are extended to the family and community of the deceased child."

Police say they won't be releasing the identity of the victim or her family and because the matter is now before the courts, they won't be providing more details.



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