Neighbors had been complaining for a while about the dreadful smell coming from William Buchman's house in Santa Ana, California.
"The stench is overwhelming," said Forest Long, Jr., who lives nearby in the Orange County city. Long said friends were becoming reluctant to visit because of the nasty odor in the area.
"It smells like something's dead," he told CNN affiliate KCAL/KCBS.
The neighbors' complaints prompted an investigation by the Department of Animal Services.
And when authorities raided Buchman's two-story house Wednesday, they discovered the cause of the putrid odor.
Vast numbers of snakes - some alive, most of them dead and decaying.
In some cases, only the skins remained. Mice and rats were also in abundance.
Acting on a search warrant, police and animal services officers wearing protective suits and masks searched the house, finding dirty rooms full of stacks of plastic bins containing pythons.
Police said "several hundred snakes" were believed to be in Buchman's home.
In just one room, they found more than 50 dead pythons and seven live ones, KCAL/KCBS reported.
"They're very cold and it appears that most of them haven't eaten in quite a while," Animal Services Cpl. Sondra Berg told the local broadcaster. "There's various stages of dying and dead and underweight."
Police said Buchman, a 53-year-old teacher, has been taken into custody on suspicion of animal cruelty.
It wasn't immediately clear why he had kept so many snakes in his house.
Despite all the bad news, there were a few miracles during the recent Southern storm, including for a woman and her boyfriend in Birmingham, Alabama.
Darshay Jones went into labor two weeks early and the ambulance set to take her to the hospital got into an accident.
So she had to call 911 where a dispatcher walked her through giving birth at home.
See the full story at CNN affiliate WBMA's site HERE
Thousands of commuters across the South are desperate after spending 12 hours or more stuck in traffic because of a storm that brought the region's biggest cities to their knees.
Two inches of snow isn't supposed to turn highways into campsites. Backups aren't supposed to last all day, through the night, and into the following morning.
And yet, here they were - hundreds of motorists across Alabama and Georgia - still hunched over in their cars Wednesday morning, feeling the aftereffects of a snow shower that hit the states more than 12 hours earlier.
In Atlanta, seven students children were still making their way home on a school bus at 5:30 a.m. ET Wednesday morning - a full 16 hours after school let out and they got on.
To see more, visit CNN.com and to hear CNN's Jason Evans describe his ten hour struggle to get home in the Southern snow in Atlanta, click on the video above.
Florida voters will get a chance to vote on legalizing marijuana in November.
The Florida Supreme Court on Monday approved wording that can appear as a ballot initiative during the midterm elections later this year.
The use of marijuana for medical reasons is legal in 20 states and the District of Columbia, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Former Gov. Charlie Crist, who's challenging incumbent Gov. Rick Scott this year, released a statement Monday in support of the amendment proposal.
"This is an issue of compassion, trusting doctors, and trusting the people of Florida. I will vote for it," he said.
With the marijuana issue seeing more support from Democrats than Republicans in recent polls, it's no surprise that Crist, a former Republican governor turned Democrat, would support having a marijuana ballot initiative on the same ticket as his race against the incumbent GOP governor. The amendment could drive more voter turnout in Crist's favor.
According to a Quinnipiac University Poll released in November, 82% of Florida voters support legalizing medical marijuana, while 16% oppose it. Breaking it down by party lines, 87% of Democrats support it, compared to 70% of Republicans.
The governor says that he would vote against such an amendment.
"I have a great deal of empathy for people battling difficult diseases and I understand arguments in favor of this initiative," he said in a statement provided to CNN by a spokesman. "But, having seen the terrible affects of alcohol and drug abuse first-hand, I cannot endorse sending Florida down this path and I would personally vote against it."
"No matter my personal beliefs, however, a ballot initiative would be up to the voters to decide."
After nearly three weeks missing in action, a Republican congressman from Texas is promising to reveal today just where he's been.
Steve Stockman put out a cryptic tweet writing "Where am I? Find out Monday."
The conservative firebrand has made virtually no public appearances and missed seventeen straight house votes since January 9th.
According to reports, Stockman may have turned up in London after a trip to Russia.
The cold temperatures have completely frozen Lake Superior and exposed an iced-over cave.
CNN's John Berman re-enacts the conversation Justin Bieber had with police during his arrest.
See John Boehner tell Jay Leno on the "Tonight Show" that he likes wine and cigarettes too much to be President.
A message purportedly from al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri addressed militants fighting in Syria to unite.
The message, more than five minutes long, was posted online on militant websites. Its authenticity could not be independently verified by CNN.
In the message, Zawahiri calls upon all jihadi factions to end the infighting.
"Our hearts are bleeding, the heart of our Islamic nation is bleeding when we see the internal strife among the mujahedeen in Syria."