Florida doctor accused of raping patients found dead during welfare check

(Photo from Collier County Jail)

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

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

Salata made headlines last week after he was accused of giving his patients tequila and laughing gas to rape them.

The responding deputy said he contacted an unidentified individual who 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 spoke to the company that managed his ankle monitor and told them of the situation. An employee at the company then 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 didn’t report any movement after that point.

The deputy said when he searched the doctor’s last known location, he saw a boot sticking out of a wooded area nearby.

Upon approaching the scene, the deputy saw 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 late doctor’s death did not appear suspicious, but his cause and manner of death will be officially determined by a medical examiner.