The man who was shot dead by a Miami police officer after chewing another man's face on May 26 may not have been a cannibal after all, according to autopsy results.
Rudy Eugene had no human flesh in his stomach after viciously biting off the eyes, nose, and mouth of victim Ronald Poppo, The Miami Herald reported. The examination did reveal a number of undigested pills in Eugene's stomach, but these pills have not yet been identified.
Chunks of Poppo's flesh were found at the crime scene under the MacArthur Causeway as if they had been spit out, reported the Herald. Although there were no human remains found in his stomach, the autopsy revealed that flesh was found in the attacker's teeth. Eugene was missing his two top front teeth, a law-enforcement source told the Miami newspaper. Those teeth are known to have been lost in an accident when Eugene was a child.
The autopsy results have not yet been made available to the public, and they are likely to stay private until Miami-Dade prosecutors finish their review of the shooting. The Miami Herald said this could take more than a year.
A preliminary review of Eugene's body found marijuana in his system, a law-enforcement source told the Herald. Those who knew the "Causeway Cannibal," including close family members and friends, acknowledged he was fond of smoking pot. However, marijuana isn't known to incite violent attacks, and it is still not clear whether the pills found in Eugene's stomach could have played a role in precipitating his bizarre behavior. Toxicology tests are being conducted, and they can take weeks to complete.
Although investigators assume drugs fueled Eugene's violence, the autopsy did not indicate any use of "bath salts," reported the Herald. This synthetic drug was thought to be the culprit because it is known to lead to psychotic episodes, violence, and paranoia in some cases. Miami police have speculated that Eugene was under the influence of this drug when the attack occurred, but the cause of his violent behavior is still undetermined.
Detectives are continuing to piece together the order of events leading to Eugene's death. He was last reported parking his car in South Beach where the Urban Beach Week festival was taking place, four hours before the attack. Authorities are still unsure of his whereabouts between the time that he parked his car and the time of the attack.
Before Eugene began attacking Poppo, a witness called 911 to report a man shedding his clothing on the Causeway and swinging from a light pole.
Eugene's victim is still recovering at Miami's Jackson Memorial Hospital, where a source told the Herald that he has already begun undergoing skin grafts to repair his face.
The peculiar act of violence has become known as the "Miami zombie attack," after Eugene reportedly growled at authorities who attempted to break up the attack, even as bits of flesh hung from his mouth. This episode subsequently led the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to issue a statement reassuring the public that there is no such thing as a zombie virus.
The "Causeway Cannibal" isn't the only reported practitioner of cannibalism to surface recently. A student in Maryland was charged with first-degree murder after parts of a missing man were found in his home only days after the Miami attack. The accused murderer in Maryland reportedly confessed to eating the heart and brain of his victim.
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