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Dead Woman, Capuchin Monkeys Found in Florida Motel Room

Image: Dead Woman, Capuchin Monkeys Found in Florida Motel Room
(Twitter/@NorthPortPolice)

By    |   Monday, 01 Feb 2016 08:20 AM

A dead woman and two live Capuchin monkeys were found in a North Port, Florida, motel room last week in an incident police are investigating as suspicious.

The body of Linda Marie Smith, a 59-year-old from Arcadia, was found Friday in a room at the Budget Inn along with two Capuchins in carrier crates, authorities told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. An incoherent man was also there and received medical attention.

North Port city spokesman Josh Taylor told the newspaper that Smith's body showed no sign of injury and that the medical examiner would perform an autopsy. Taylor added that a note was found in the room and police plan to question the man found with the woman and monkeys.

"The gentleman was a little combative," Taylor told WTVT-TV. "We have taken him in for questioning in hopes that he will answer some of the questions of why these folks were here, why this situation came to be."

A Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission agent took the monkeys into custody for care.

Capuchin monkeys are commonly found in Brazil and other areas of Latin America, according to the Rainforest Alliance website. The animals typically grow to be between three and nine pounds.

The monkeys are considered exotic pets in Florida and residents are required to complete some 1,000 hours of training and obtain reference letters before they can own one in the state, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Robert Klepper told the Herald-Tribune.

"Normal protocol would be to place them with a licensed permit holder," he said of the motel Capuchins. "But I cannot speculate as to whether that's happened yet."

Klepper told the Herald-Tribune that there are 45 licensed Capuchin monkey owners in Florida. It is not clear if Smith was one of them.

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A dead woman and two live Capuchin monkeys were found in a North Port, Florida, motel room last week in an incident police are investigating as suspicious.
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2016-20-01
Monday, 01 Feb 2016 08:20 AM
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