MIAMI - According to the official toxicology reports, Rudy Eugene was not on "bath salts" or synthetic marijuana when he chewed the face off a homeless man in May.
But according to the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel , scientists and observers are skeptical of the reports.
Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti believes Eugene, now known as the "Causeway Cannibal," was on something not caught by any of the two labs that ran the toxicology tests.
Dr. Barry Logan, one of the nation's top toxicologists, said, "We are not testing for everything that may be out there."
That's because they aren't able to.
The most sophisticated labs can only test for 17 chemical compounds that make synthetic marijuana. But clandestine labs are using more than 100 chemical compounds, said Logan, director of Forensic and Toxicological Services at NMS Labs in Pennsylvania, the same lab hired by Miami-Dade County to help test Eugene for bath salts and synthetic marijuana.
Synthetic amphetamines, better known as bath salts, are also hard to track for the same reason.
Toxicologists can only test for 40 out of hundreds of bath salt compounds, Logan told the Sun Sentinel..
"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."
Eugene's drug scan surprised Logan when only traces of marijuana were found.
"His behavior was consistent with someone who was delusional and hallucinating, which would be consistent with bath salts," Logan told the Sun Sentinel.
The Miami-Dade County medical Examiner released the report last week. It contained this disclaimer: "Within the limits of current technology by both laboratories, marijuana is the only drug identified in the body of Mr. Rudy Eugene."
Experts agree Eugene's behavior was drug-induced, but not by marijuana. But since even the most sophisticated labs cannot test for every compound, it's hard to prove that marijuana was not the culprit.
"We are not incompetent," said Dr. Bruce Goldberger, professor and director of toxicology at the University of Florida. "We have the tools, we have the sophistication and know-how. But the field is evolving so rapidly it is hard for us to keep track. It's almost as if it is a race we can never win."
Goldberger believes Eugene was on a drug more powerful than marijuana the day of the attack.
The Sun Sentinel reported that a Waco, Texas man who tried to eat a dog on June 14 told police he was high on synthetic marijuana at the time.
Fake weed is popular among users because it gets them high like natural marijuana, but it doesn't show up in most drug tests.
One chronic pot user was rushed to the emergency room when she tried to stop cold turkey after smoking synthetic marijuana for two years.
The results of her hospital tests only found traces of marijuana, just like with Rudy Eugene.
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