A schoolteacher was arrested after police found more than 400 pythons inside his suburban home. Only two of the pythons were alive.

Police officers searched the home of William Buchman, a 53-year-old teacher at an elementary school in Newport Beach, California, after neighbors complained about a "god-awful" stench. In addition to the hundreds of dead snakes spread throughout the five-bedroom house, officers also discovered dozens of mice and rats.

"The smell alone — I feel like I need to take a shower for a week," Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said, according to the Associated Press. "They're pretty much in all the bedrooms — everywhere."

Neighbors believed someone might have died inside the house. "We thought someone was dead," Forest Long, who lives next door, told the Los Angeles Times. "We couldn't open up the bedroom windows. My wife started to gag and throw up."

The Longs suspect Buchman became lonely after the recent death of his mother. "We didn't see him much," Long said, adding that they called him the "rat man" because of the frequent deliveries of rodents to his home.

Authorities from animal control had previously tried to gain access to the home but Buchman refused. He faces several animal cruelty charges.

[Image via NBC Los Angeles]