‘Post-mortem mayhem’: Court docs detail cannibalism charge in North Idaho murder

CLARK FORK, Idaho – Court documents detail disturbing allegations of cannibalism against a North Idaho man already charged with murder.

James David Russell was arrested this fall and charged with the murder of 70-year-old David Flaget. After further investigation, prosecutors added the cannibalism charge, which carries with it the possibility of the death penalty.

According to court documents obtained by 4 News Now, there was evidence at the crime scene of what an investigator described as “post-mortem mayhem.”

Flaget’s body was found inside a pickup truck on the Russell family property. Flaget is described in court documents as the caretaker of the property.

James David Russell’s uncle immediately identified James, or Jimmy, as a possible suspect. Family members had seen Russell near the truck earlier that day carrying a black duffel bag and latex gloves. They also saw a bucket of soapy water next to the pickup.

The affidavit of probable cause says that when investigators searched Russell’s home, they found “suspected human flesh” and other items like bloody duct tape and cutting implements with suspected blood on them.

Russell’s uncle told investigators that he “had an irrational fear of the internet.” He also said his nephew had recently become more aggressive

When he was arrested, investigators say Russell said only “it’s private property and we don’t like non-family on it.”

While Russell was originally charged with murder in September, the cannibalism charge was added on December 15.

The charging documents say Russell “did willfully ingest the flesh or blood of David M. Flaget.”

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