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Miami Face-Eater's Girlfriend Suspects Voodoo

The girlfriend of the man who chewed off most of another man's face believes her boyfriend was either drugged or a voodoo curse was put on him.

Naked Rudy Eugene, 31, was shot dead by police after he had ripped off almost the entire face of his victim, 65-year-old homeless man Ronald Poppo.

Mr Poppo, who was also naked during Saturday's attack beside a busy Miami road, is fighting for his life in hospital.

Eugene's on-off girlfriend of five years, who wanted to remain anonymous, told the Miami Herald that the supernatural or drugs were the only way the vicious attack could have happened: "I don't know how else to explain this," she told the newspaper.

She said she never thought that voodoo existed - until now.

Eugene was originally from Haiti, where voodoo is chiefly practised .

His girlfriend, who is not Haitian, said she believed someone put a curse on him.

She said the depictions of Eugene as a face-chewing monster do not make sense to her.

"Something happened out of the ordinary that day. I don't want him to be labelled the Miami Zombie," she told the Miami Herald .

She remembered Eugene as a man of faith who had recently been trying to stop smoking marijuana: "If someone was lost or didn't know God, he would tell them about Him. He was a believer of God."

Eugene's mother, Ruth Charles, also talked to the media to defend her son.

"Everybody says that he was a zombie, but I know he's not a zombie; he's my son," she told Miami Herald news partner CBS-4.

She suspected her son was drugged: "I don't know what they injected in him to turn him into the person who did what he did," she told CBS-4, making the motion of someone putting a syringe into her arm.

Eugene's girlfriend said when she first saw TV reports of the attack, she had no idea Eugene was behind it.

"I thought to myself, 'Oh my God, that's crazy'," she told the Miami Herald.

But she said she had been trying to call Eugene, who had left her house on the morning of the attack, but could not get in contact with him.

She told the paper that Eugene had called her earlier on Saturday to say his car had broken down, and when she had not heard back from him later in the day, she started feeling uneasy.

But it was not until Monday, when she was contacted by a member of Eugene's family, that she found out he was behind the attack that had shocked the world.

"I'll never be the same," she told the paper.

Police initially said the attack could have been provoked by an overdose of a powerful new form of LSD mixed with 'cocaine psychosis'.

Reports, however, later suggested Eugene was likely to have been under the influence of the synthetic stimulant 'bath salts' made with the active agent mephedrone, which produces an often aggressive, chaotic experience for users, coupled with intense hallucinations.

Some friends and acquaintances told the media that Eugene was known as an easygoing and good friend.

But other people were coming forward saying he was struggling to stop smoking marijuana, having family problems and was not holding down a job.

Joe Aurelus, Eugene's friend since their teens, told the Miami Herald: "Rudy was battling the devil."

:: Watch CCTV footage of the attack