Noah and Connor Barthe were sleeping over at a friend's house in New Brunswick, Canada when an African rock python escaped from a pet store and entered the room, strangling and killing both boys and leaving a family searching for answers. Authorities say that autopsies for the boys are scheduled for today.

"The preliminary investigation has led police to believe that a python snake escaped its enclosure in the store sometime overnight," Police Const. Julie Rogers-Marsh said Monday. "It's believed the two boys were strangled by the snake."

The snake escaped from a pet store located below the apartment in which the two boys were sleeping. Jean-Claude Savoie, the owner of the store, told reporters for Canadian website Global News that he walked into a "horrific scene."

"[The snake] went through a ventilation system. I don't understand how it did it. It went through the ceiling...and the snake fell through the living room from the ceiling," said Savoie.

Savoie then found the snake and put it in a cage. But by then, it was too late.

African rock python snakes are nonvenomous and kill their prey by strangulation. The one that killed the Barthe brothers was between 11- and 15-feet long and weighed more than 100 lbs. The snake was not for sale, but was one of Savoie's pets.

The boys were camped out in the living room of the apartment when the tragic incident happened. They were having a sleepover with their best friend as they often did. It is believed that the Barthe boys' mother lived just next door.

The community that the boys lived in was small and close-knit. Everyone in the town knew the two boys. Many have been rocked by the tragedy.

"I knew the kids. They were brothers," said neighbor Diane Fournier. "They played in my yard with my dogs all of the time. It's very nerve-wracking. If one got out, how many else got out?"

Fournier echoed the sentiments of many of Savoie's neighbors as they placed the spotlight on the pet store owner and his shop, Reptile Ocean. According to CNN, a 1996 report by Zoocheck describes Savoie as a "young enthusiastic amateur collector who has only recently embarked on this commercial venture." And, while many of his neighbors are looking to him for answers, Savoie is notably shaken by the entire incident.

"My body is in shock. I don't know what to think," said Savoie.