CREATED Apr. 25, 2013
Fremont, NE - A peaceful neighborhood in Fremont. Home to many families and a dangerous, wild reptile.
"An alligator, approx 3 to 4 foot long was found in the basement."
Fremont police were stunned after finding the gator inside, where a family of five slept every night. Lieutenant Kurt Bottorff says this is a strange incident.
"As a matter of fact as long as I've been here this is the first alligator. I've been here since 94 but you do hear of it taking place, but this is definitely unusual."
Officers learned Matthew and Mellisa Morris kept the alligator there, with their three children, all under the age of eight.
When the search warrant was served, police found even more.
"The combination of the drugs, the gun and the reptile could have been, could have been very very bad results had it not been resolved the way it was", adds Bottorff.
Mike McClendon lives across the street.
"They're real nice folks, they take good care of their kids."
He says the Morris' are great neighbors and he knew Matthew Morris loved animals.
"I know that he's into reptiles, that's his hobby. He likes reptiles. Had a big terrarium with a couple of savannah monitors."
In fact, Mike even saw the gator.
"And what we told me was, the only reason he had it was cause they're supposed to be good eatin. I said hey, I got a smoker."
Police charged Matthews Morris with multiple crimes, including child abuse and neglect. They only cited Mellisa Morris and the children are still in the home.
The alligator is now at the Henry Doorly Zoo, where it will stay in quarantine for at least 30 days. It could grow up to 14 feet.