A man in Idaho is facing charges after authorities said they discovered a dead man’s body parts inside a microwave, East Idaho News reported Monday.
“The Bonner County Sheriff’s Office began investigating James David Russell, 39, on Sept. 10 after finding the body of David Flaget, 70, in a rural area near Clark Fork,” the outlet said.
The man was charged with felony first-degree murder and felony cannibalism in an amended criminal complaint that was filed last week.
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Some witnesses noticed the body of Flaget, who was caretaker over the family’s property, inside a truck. They suspected Russell of the killing, charging documents obtained by the outlet said.
Deputies eventually found Russell wearing gloves, but he ran into a building where a short standoff came to a close and deputies took him into custody, the documents reportedly said.
Deputies then neared Flaget’s vehicle and found the body naked from the waist down in the passenger’s seat.
According to a probable cause affidavit, the officers noted duct tape bound the man’s wrists, and a portion of his thigh and genitals were cut away and missing.
“It appeared the parts were removed after death,” the East Idaho News report continued:
The following day, investigators served a search warrant at Russell’s home. Inside, detectives found tissue consistent with Flaget’s missing flesh. Investigators also found blood and tissue in a bowl inside the microwave. Some of the tissue indicated heat had been applied, possibly in the microwave for one to two minutes, according to court documents. Investigators could not locate one of Flaget’s testicles, his penis and a portion of the thigh that was removed from his body. Investigators wrote in their probable cause affidavit that they believe Russell ate the missing body parts.
“When dealing with death and carnage it’s a shock to our conscience,” Bonner County Detective Phillip Stella told the Bonners Ferry Herald. “As far as I know this is the first cannibalism charge in Idaho.”
Witnesses said the day of the killing, Russell appeared agitated and had been experiencing mental health problems.
“Court documents indicated while at a California hospital receiving psychiatric help in May, Russell reportedly told his family he wanted to ‘cut chunks of his skin off with a knife’ to ‘cure his brain,’ according to court documents,” the report stated.
After being taken into custody, Russell seemed to not understand his rights and made a comment about the property’s privacy, reportedly stating, “we don’t like non-family on it,” court documents noted.
Flaget’s obituary said he loved to joke and was known for his sense of humor.
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“His absence has left a hole in many hearts, ‘Dammit Dave’ you are forever loved and missed,” the post read.