The Miami-Dade Medical Examiner's office said on Wednesday that toxicology reports reveal Rudy Eugene, the "Miami cannibal," had no bath salts in his system, only marijuana.The medical examiner said tests for a number of drugs all returned negative.
The reports by two labs raise new questions about what made the 31-year-old strip of his clothes and attack Ronald Poppo on the McArthur Causeway.
According Daily Mail, the medical examiner's office has ruled out the possibility that Eugene was under the influence of any of the common components of bath salts. The comprehensive toxicology tests also checked his system for a host of several other drugs but found only marijuana in his system. Miami Herald reports that the tests did not detect any common street drugs, including cocaine, LSD, amphetamines, phencyclidine (PCP or "Angel Dust"), heroine, oxycodone, synthetic marijuana, Xanax, alcohol and prescription drugs.
Miami Herald reports officials hired an independent forensic toxicology lab that confirmed the absence of drugs besides marijuana in Eugene's system.
According to MSNBC, the statement by the medical examiner said: "The department's toxicology laboratory has identified the active components of marijuana. The laboratory has tested for but not detected any other street drugs, alcohol or prescription drugs, or any adulterants found in street drugs."
CBS Local reports that a press release by the medical examiner Dr. Bruce Hyma, said: “The department... sought the assistance of an outside forensic toxicology reference laboratory, which has confirmed the absence of 'bath salts,' synthetic marijuana and LSD. Within the limits of current technology by both laboratories, marijuana is the only drug identified in the body of Mr. Rudy Eugene."
Digital Journal reports that an earlier autopsy had found evidence of "undigested pills" in Eugene's stomach but the medical examiner's press release on Wednesday made no reference to it.
The medical examiner's report comes after officials had speculated that Eugene's behavior suggested he had taken bath salts. The toxicology reports appear to vindicate the insistence by Eugene's friends and relatives that he did not take drugs, but used only marijuana occasionally.
The reports have deepened the puzzle over what caused Eugene to strip off his clothes and launch a vicious attack on Poppo. Before the attack, someone had called the police to report a "completely naked man" on top of one of the light poles on the highway "acting like Tarzan." Surveillance video also shows Eugene attacking Poppo, tearing at his clothes and hitting him viciously before chewing on his face.
The medical examiner's report has now convinced Rikkia Cross, Eugene's girlfriend, that he was under "supernatural" influence. According to Miami Herald, Cross said on Wednesday: “Somebody did something to him, somebody put something on him. I know for sure that wasn’t Rudy." Digital Journal reports that Cross had earlier said she believed that her boyfriend was under a voodoo spell.
The Huffington Post reports that Dr. Bruce Goldberger, professor and director of toxicology at the University of Florida, said: "The problem today is that there is an almost an infinite number of chemical substances out there that can trigger unusual behavior."
Goldberger, however, said that the medical examiner's office in Miami is known for doing thorough work. He said he was confident that the independent lab did an exhaustive test but he said it is nearly impossible for toxicology testing to keep pace of new formulations of synthetic drugs. Goldberger said: "...The challenge today for the toxicology lab is to stay on top of these new chemicals and develop methodologies for them, but it's very difficult and very expensive." He added: "There is no one test or combination of tests that can detect every possible substance out there."
However, there have been suggestions that Eugene had mental issues. The Huffington Post reports that Eugene was once diagnosed as schizophrenic but it is not known whether he sought treatment. Eugene, according to police records, had been arrested 8 times since he was 16. Four of the instances were in connection with marijuana. Apart from an isolated incident in which he got violent and threatened to kill his mother, his family members says he was never violent. His friends and relatives say before his death, he had been studying the Bible and telling his friends he wanted to stop smoking marijuana.
Eugene's brother Marckenson Charles, said: "There's no answer for it, not really. Anybody who knew him knows this wasn't the person we knew him to be. Whatever triggered him, there is no answer for this."
According to the The Huffington Post, Poppo's doctors at the Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center say he is "doing well." Poppo lost one eye but he will be undergoing surgeries to reconstruct his face. Plastic surgeon Dr. Wrood Kassira, said: "We have mental health professionals to help him with the coping, and he's coping remarkably well."