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According to court papers filed earlier in April, Nesmith was hit with a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission code violation after the snake disappeared from the home last month. After Nesmith opened the cover of the cage, the snake jumped at him and then slid away, police said.
From March 13 to March 19, wildlife officers and Purdy searched the home at 905 NE Fifth St. and the surrounding neighborhood.
In his interview with investigators, Nesmith said he arrived at Purdy’s home shortly before 9 p.m. and the man’s son let him in. He said he went in and was going to check on the lizards Purdy owns when he saw the cobra cage and did not see the snake. He said he was concerned and unlocked the enclosure. He said he placed a clear shield in front of the opening and used a small hook to lift the water bowl up onto its side. Then, he said, the cobra got out and began crawling toward the open cage door.