Rudy Eugene, the man dubbed the Miami cannibal who was shot and killed when they found him chewing the face of a homeless drifter, did not have bath salts in his system.
Lab tests detected only marijuana in the system of Eugene the medical examiner said Wednesday, ruling out other street drugs, including the components typically found in the stimulants known as bath salts.
There has been much speculation about what drugs, if any, would lead to the bizarre behavior that authorities said Eugene exhibited before and during the gruesome attack that left Ronald Poppo horribly disfigured.
As reported by the Associated Press:
The Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner said in a news release that the toxicology detected marijuana, but it didn’t find any other street drugs, alcohol or prescription drugs. Eugene also tested negative for adulterants commonly mixed with street drugs.
The department ruled out the most common components found in bath salts, which mimic the effects of cocaine or methamphetamine and have been associated with bizarre crimes in recent months. An outside forensic toxicology lab, which took a second look at the results, also confirmed the absence of bath salts, synthetic marijuana and LSD.
An expert on toxicology testing said that marijuana alone wasn’t likely to cause behavior as strange as Eugene’s.
“The problem today is that there is an almost an infinite number of chemical substances out there that can trigger unusual behavior,” said Dr. Bruce Goldberger, Professor and Director of Toxicology at the University of Florida.
Goldberger said that “There is no one test or combination of tests that can detect every possible substance out there.”
“It could have been the strain of marijuana that increases the dopamine in the brain, such as sativa,” said Dr. Patricia Junquera, assistant professor at the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
There are two strains of marijuana called sativa and indica. The sativa increases dopamine and gives you energy while decreasing pain threshold. Indica is a “sleepy high,” she explained.
It’s not clear what led to the May 26 attack on Poppo, a 65-year-old homeless man who remains hospitalized. Eugene’s friends and family have said he was religious, not violent and that he didn’t drink or do drugs harder than marijuana.
Eugene’s girlfriend, meanwhile, has said he never showed any signs of violence. Yovonka Bryant said she and Eugene often read the Bible and the Koran together, and often watched a religious television program in the mornings. She said she never saw Eugene drink and only saw him smoke marijuana once at a party.