NEWARK, DE — Ronald Huff held the lease on the small studio at the Towne Court Apartments. But it was his seven monitor lizards that owned the place.

Two handmade, wooden cages big enough to hold a 6-foot animal were stacked against one wall, partially blocking the kitchen.

Police found his cold-blooded pets eating his body.

Aquariums and cushions for the smaller lizards to lounge upon were scattered around the apartment. Small shelves had been cut into his bathroom closet, providing a place for the reptiles to snooze after roaming freely.

Huff's fascination with the giant lizards came to a grisly end this week; New Castle County police found his cold-blooded pets eating his body Wednesday.

Foul play is not suspected, said police spokesman Trinidad Navarro. But authorities do not know how or when the 42-year-old car-dealership lot attendant died, or whether his lizards killed him.

Huff's relatives speculate that infection from a lizard bite may have contributed to his death. Results of a Delaware state medical examiner's autopsy won't be known for several weeks.

John Caldwell, director of the Delaware Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said an infection from a lizard bite could contribute to death if not treated. He dismissed the likelihood that the whip-tailed, sharp-clawed reptiles turned on their owner.

"Do I think the lizards attacked and killed him? No, I don't," he said.

Police went to Huff's apartment Wednesday after receiving calls from concerned family and coworkers at Martin Oldsmobile. Officers found Huff's body against the door, several lizards atop him.

The animals ranged in length from 2 feet to 6 feet and weighed from 2 pounds to 20 pounds.