A dead woman was found inside a Florida hotel room surrounded by two live Capuchin monkeys, and one reportedly very confused man. The bizarre motel mystery now has police wondering just what happened inside room 115 at a Budget Inn in North Port, Florida, Sarasota County.
Writes CNN on Jan. 30: “Police identified the woman as Linda Marie Smith, 59, of Arcadia, Florida. She was found Friday at a Budget Inn in North Port. An incoherent man, who was in the room with her, received medical attention and was undergoing questioning.”
The Capuchin monkeys were found crated inside the hotel room. The animals were turned over to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. A note was found inside of the room as well, though investigators did not indicate if the letter was a suicide note or clarify what it said. Police said the monkeys were registered to the man. The unnamed man and Smith checked into the room for one night and were due to leave at 11:00 a.m. the next morning.
“There was no obvious signs of trauma to Smith’s body,” North Port police said in a statement. “The cause of death is undetermined at this point. The medical examiner will soon conduct an autopsy.”
“The gentleman was a little combative,” said Josh Taylor of North Port police, according to Fox13 News. “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.”
Capuchin monkeys are considered to be the most intelligent of the New World monkeys – five families of primates that are found in Central and South America and portions of Mexico. Capuchins are found in the Northern parts of Argentina, but are also scattered around North and South America. The small monkeys, weighing only three to nine pounds, are intelligent and easily trained.
Writes the Rainforest Alliance: “Capuchin monkeys are very clever and easy to train. Because of this, they are used to help people who are quadriplegics in many developed countries. They have also become popular pets and attractions for street entertainment, and are hunted for meat by local people.”