Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

May 18, 2012

Cops plan to keep diamond-swallower in custody until evidence moves

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

ONTARIO — Police are keeping a man who allegedly swallowed a $20,000 diamond in custody until he produces the evidence.

It has been almost a week since Richard Mackenzie Matthews, 52, allegedly switched a diamond at Precision Jewelers and swallowed the real one. Matthews has been jailed at police headquarters while they wait for the 1.7 carat stone to go through his system.

Sgt. Brett Corey said Thursday that Matthews has been to the restroom numerous times, but the diamond has not yet appeared, reported. A recent X-ray showed a pair of fake diamonds, also called cubic zirconium, stuck in the man’s intestines, but the diamond isn’t visible because it is translucent.

Matthews has been fed a variety of laxative foods, but now he is being fed whatever he wants in order to retrieve the diamond, Corey said.

A rookie cop is not getting the job of locating the diamond.

“It’s not like hazing or ‘you’re the junior guy, in you go,’” Deputy Chief Jerome Brannagan said. “Whoever is involved in that has to be somebody who is qualified to give evidence in court. They’re going to have to articulate what happened, how it happened, how they recovered it. The chain of evidence has to be maintained.”