Florida doctor accused of raping patients is found dead in ditch


NAPLES, Fla. (WFLA) — Authorities in Florida are investigating after a doctor who was accused of drugging and raping his patients was found dead in a ditch.

An incident report from the Collier County Sheriff’s Office said a deputy was dispatched at 6:17 p.m. Monday in Naples to conduct a welfare check on Dr. Eric Salata, 54.

Salata made headlines last week after he was accused of giving two patients at his cosmetic surgery clinic laughing gas, medication and alcohol, then raping them.

The responding deputy said an unidentified individual told him Salata left two notes, his wedding ring and his credit cards at his home. The contents of the notes were redacted in the report.

The individual also told the company that managed Salata’s ankle monitor of the situation. An employee at the company contacted the Collier County Sheriff’s Office and said Salata’s monitor showed him parking at his home at 10 a.m. and walking toward Gail Boulevard.

According to the incident report, Salata’s ankle monitor did not report any further movement.

The deputy said when he searched the doctor’s last known location, he saw a boot sticking out of a wooded area nearby. The deputy then found Salata’s body in a ditch with a gunshot wound to the head. The doctor showed no sign of decay and “appeared to be freshly deceased,” the report said.

A pistol was also found next to Salata’s right leg, according to the report.

A spokeswoman for the Collier County Sheriff’s Office said the doctor’s death did not appear suspicious, but his cause and manner of death will be officially determined by a medical examiner.

According to NewsRadio WFLA, Salata was accused of sexually assaulting two women after incapacitating them with laughing gas, medication and tequila at Pura Vida Medical Spa, a cosmetic surgery clinic he operated with his wife.

Salata was charged with two counts of sexual battery to a physically helpless person and was scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 19.

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