North Idaho Man Charged with Cannibalism
CLARK FORK, Idaho (KLIX)-A 39-year-old North Idaho man is being charged with cannibalism in addition to first-degree murder stemming from an investigation that began in September. According to the Bonner County Sheriff's Office, on September 10, James "Jimmy" Russell was arrested and charged with one count of first-degree murder of David Flaget, 70, of Clark Fork. Flaget had been the caretaker of the property Russell was living on at the time. The family of Russell discovered Flaget's body inside his pickup on the property and reported it to authorities. On December 13, Bonner County authorities filed an additional charge of cannibalism based on evidence recovered from the crime scene and statements allegedly made by Russell. According to charging documents, investigators said Flaget died from blunt force trauma to the head and neck while being restrained with tape. Parts of Flagets body had been cut off and never recovered. A search of the loft apartment Russell had been living in discovered a bowl and microwave that later test revealed had Flaget's DNA on it. Also, the medical examiner said body tissue recovered from the scene showed what he called "thermal artifact" or evidence it could have been heated, possibly by a microwave, but he could not say for certain. Investigators also said in charging documents that Russell was taken by family to a medical center in California earlier in May for psychiatric treatment. Family allegedly told investigators that Russell had made a statement about cutting his skin with a knife to "cure his brain."