Broward County, Florida, Sheriff Al Lamberti is among those who think Rudy Eugene, the so-called “Causeway Cannibal”–the original “Bath Salts Zombie”–was on something not caught by either of two labs that ran toxicology tests.
Eugene was the man police shot and killed as he chewed the face off of homeless man Ronald Poppo on the MacArthur Causeway in Miami, Florida, on May 26.
“We are not testing for everything that may be out there,” said Dr. Barry Logan, one of the nation’s leading toxicologists.
Clandestine labs are using more than 100 chemical compounds to make synthetic marijuana, but even the most sophisticated lab can only test for 17, said Logan, director of Forensic and Toxicological Services at NMS Labs in Pennsylvania, the same lab hired byMiami-Dade Countyto help test Eugene for bath salts and synthetic marijuana.
Bath salts, also known as synthetic amphetamines, are also hard to track for the same reason.
There are hundreds of bath salt compounds out there, but toxicologists can test for only 40 of them, Logan said.
“This is always a moving target,” Logan said. “As soon as a test exists for something, there are new compounds waiting in the wings. We are always a step behind.”
Even Logan was surprised when Eugene’s drug scan found only traces of marijuana.
“His behavior was consistent with someone who was delusional and hallucinating, which would be consistent with bath salts,” Logan said.