It was a somber vigil held last night as family and friends remembered Noah and Connor Barthe. The young brothers were killed by an African rock python during a sleepover, CNN's Pamela Brown reports.
Disturbing new photos have emerged of the brothers inside glass cages that held snakes. Family members say the children loved animals.
"They played with llamas and goats and horses. That's what they always loved and that's how we're trying to remember them," says David Rose, the victims' Great-Uncle.
Jean-Claude Savoie is the family friend who was hosting the boys at his apartment. His own son was unharmed in the next room. Savoie also owns the reptile store downstairs.
"I turn the lights on and I see this horrific scene and the snake was gone," says Savoie.
Snake experts tell CNN that this type of python typically only kills when it's hungry. An earlier statement by police said the snake may have fallen from a vent in the ceiling, which also could have scared it into attack mode.
As investigators look for answers, the Barthe family is grieving the loss of their little boys.
"They were two typical children, they enjoyed life to a maximum," says David Rose, their Great-Uncle.
Jeff Corwin, wildlife biologist and host of AC's "Ocean Mysteries," weighs in:
"... if they were sleeping, they didn't have a chance. First of all, you're a young child so you're easily disoriented and you're not aware of your surroundings and you're sleeping. And these creatures move with incredible silence. Once they latch on and envelop the prey in the constricting process, that squeezing process, unless you know what you're doing, it's very hard to escape."