*(via Miami Herald) – On the Saturday morning before he would make headlines for chewing off a man’s face –– before he would come to be known tragically as the “Miami Zombie”–– Rudy Eugene held his Bible and kissed his girlfriend goodbye.
Eugene’s on-again, off-again girlfriend said he woke her up at 5:30 a.m. to say he was going to meet with a “homeboy.” She said she found it strange he was rummaging the closet so early in morning. He didn’t name the friend or say where he was going.
He planted a kiss on her lips and said, “I love you.”
Shortly after, he left the central Broward apartment he shared with her.
“I told him be safe and I love you too. When he walked out the door I closed it, locked it and went back to sleep,” said the girlfriend, who spoke to The Miami Herald on Wednesday but asked that her name not be disclosed. She said that she thought it unusual that he was leaving the house so early, but didn’t press him on it.
An hour after he left, Eugene called her cell phone. “He called me and told me his car broke down. He said, “I’ll be home, but I’m going to be a little late. Then he said, I’m going to call you right back.” That was the last time Eugene’s girlfriend heard from him.
“I’ll never be the same,” she said.
The man being depicted by the media as a “face eater” or a “monster” is not the man she knew, she said. He smoked marijuana often, though had recently said he wanted to quit, but he didn’t use stronger recreational drugs and even refused to take over-the-counter medication for simple ailments like headaches, she said. He was sweet and well-mannered, she said.
Eugene’s girlfriend has her own theory on what happened that day. She believes Eugene was drugged unknowingly. The only other explanation, she said, was supernatural — that someone put a Vodou curse on him. The girlfriend, who unlike Eugene is not Haitian, said she has never believed in Vodou, until now.
“I don’t know how else to explain this,” she said.