The world is calling Rudy Eugene, who chewed off a homeless man’s face, a cannibal — but an autopsy shows there was no human flesh in his stomach.
The post-death examination did reveal a number of undigested pills in his stomach, but investigators have not identified them yet. A Miami police officer shot and killed 31 year old Eugene, on May 26 as he attacked a homeless man in broad daylight off the MacArthur Causeway, tearing off his face with his teeth. By the time police arrived, most of the victim’s face was gone. Police found pieces of torn skin on the concrete sidewalk where the attack occurred.
Fueled by the Internet and widespread interest in the macabre case, some media reports have dubbed Eugene the “Causeway Cannibal” and the “Miami Zombie.”
A preliminary review found the presence of marijuana in Eugene’s system, a law enforcement source said, which was no surprise because Eugene’s family and friends widely reported that he was fond of smoking pot.
But marijuana doesn’t usually spark violent attacks. Whether the pills found in his stomach played a role in Eugene’s outburst of violence is unknown. Toxicology tests will take weeks to complete.
Investigators assume some type of drug fueled Eugene’s bizarre behavior, but they have no indication that he may have used “bath salts,” a synthetic stimulant that in some cases can lead to psychotic episodes, paranoia and violence. Miami’s police union has speculated that Eugene might have been acting under the influence of bath salts.
The autopsy finding that Eugene had no human flesh in his stomach jibes with the crime-scene investigation, which found chunks of Poppo’s flesh on the ground, as if they had been spit out. The autopsy also revealed human flesh lodged between the teeth of Eugene, who did not have his two top front teeth, the law enforcement source said. Eugene is known to have lost his two front teeth in an accident as a child.
Poppo is recovering at Jackson Memorial Hospital, where a source told The Herald he has already undergone some skin grafts to help repair his mangled face. Photos of his face after the attack made their way to the Internet, fueling public curiosity in the case.