MIAMI (CBS4) – Police now believe that Rudy Eugene, the so-called Miami Zombie, was not only naked, but was also carrying his bible, when he nearly beat a homeless man to death and chewed off three-quarters of his face.
A senior law enforcement official told CBS4’s Jim DeFede, Eugene’s bible was found with some of its pages ripped out at the scene of the May 26 cannibal attack that has captured worldwide attention.
The torn bible pages were found not far from the victim’s body. In interviews last week, Eugene’s mother described her son as a “church boy” who always carried his bible with him.
CBS4 News has also learned the preliminary toxicology report from Eugene’s autopsy revealed Eugene, 31, had been smoking marijuana near the time of the incident.
Investigators had hoped the initial tests might lead them to quickly identify other drugs Eugene might have taken which could have caused such psychotic behavior, but the law enforcement official said it will now be at least two months before all the lab work will be completed.
New details are also coming to light regarding the morning of the attack.
As CBS4 News was the first to report, Eugene had driven to South Beach during the early morning hours of May 26 for Urban Beach Weekend. Eugene parked his car near Tenth and Alton Road and after apparently not being able to get the car to start again decided to walk the three and a half miles over the MacArthur Causeway to downtown Miami.
Along the way he stripped off his clothes, tossing them on the road before ultimately encountering his 65-year-old victim, Ronald Poppo, who lived around and under the causeway.
According to the law enforcement source, surveillance video from a business near Tenth and Alton revealed that Eugene spent between 30 and 40 minutes around his purple Chevy festooned with Haitian flags. He can be seen getting in and out of the car during that time, as well as walking around it.
Detectives canvassed the area to see if Eugene had gone to that part of Miami Beach to visit someone, but they were unable to find anyone in the area who knew Eugene or even recall seeing him that morning.
Inside the car investigators found a Koran and five empty bottles of water. The water appeared to have been recently purchased, the law enforcement source told DeFede.
The water, and the notion that Eugene was extremely thirsty, offers investigators another clue into the possible drugs Eugene may have been taking.
For instance, people who take Ecstasy often crave water. Detectives won’t know if Eugene took Ecstasy, or some other drug, until the complete toxicology report is issued.