A prisoner in Florida killed his cellmate, gouged out his eyes, and wore his ear as a necklace — with prison guards not noticing until the following day, the Miami Herald reported Friday.
Sources told the publication that the unnamed inmate at the Columbia Correctional Institution, about 50 miles west of Jacksonville, strangled to death 58-year-old cellmate Larry Mark on Thursday morning, for “pestering” him.
He then removed Marks’ eyeballs and cut off his ear. The prisoner put the ear on a string around his neck, and showed it off to several other prisoners before breakfast at the chow hall, according to the report.
He left the eyeballs in a cup in the cell, telling other prisoners he intended to eat or drink them later.
Prison officials only reportedly noticed something was amiss later that morning.
The report the killing took place in a prison annex, with prison officers distracted by a gang fight over drugs in another part of the institution, which left four inmates hospitalised.
The Department of Corrections confirmed the name of the murdered inmate to the publication, but would not disclose the name of his alleged killer.
Columbia Correctional Institution has not responded to a request for comment.
A recent report by the Florida Policy Institute found severe understaffing at the state’s correctional institutions, which it linked to an increase in prisoner-on-prisoner attacks, prisoner attacks on staff, and an increase in drugs being smuggled into prisons.
Guards employed by the Florida Department of Corrections—which runs the third largest prison system in the U.S.—are among the worst paid in the U.S., according to the report.