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A pathologist hired by Jeffrey Epstein’s brother is now backing the conspiracy theory that the accused child sex trafficker might’ve died by homicide — not suicide — in his Manhattan jail cell in August.
New York City’s chief medical examiner, however, has disputed any claims of homicide and says the convicted sex offender committed suicide.
Michael Baden, a former New York City medical examiner and a contributor to Fox News, told “Fox & Friends” Wednesday morning that Epstein’s injuries were consistent with homicidal strangulation and “extremely unusual in suicidal hangings.” Baden observed New York City’s official autopsy, according to the New York Times.
Baden also said his evidence isn’t conclusive yet and that he’s still in the process of investigating the wealthy financier’s death, which left his alleged victims outraged.
Baden’s statements fall in line with accusations from right-wing groups like QAnon — and promoted by President Donald Trump — that Epstein was killed. But New York City’s chief medical examiner, Barbara Sampson, has said that Epstein died by suicide when he tied a bedsheet to his jail-cell bunk bed and knelt to the floor, using so much force that he broke bones in his neck.
The severe neck injuries were part of the reason people speculated that 66-year-old Epstein was murdered by strangulation, rather than died by suicide.
“It appears that this could have been a mistake,” Baden said of the medical examiner’s conclusions. “There’s evidence here of homicide that should be investigated, to see if it is or isn’t homicide.”
Epstein was accused of trafficking dozens of young girls around the world between 2002 and 2005 and was being held without bail in a Manhattan jail on charges of sex trafficking and conspiracy at the time of his death. He faced up to 45 years in prison.
The jail was reportedly severely short-staffed at the time of Epstein’s death, and although Epstein had threatened suicide in the weeks leading up to his hanging, he was left alone. Attorney General William Barr announced a federal investigation into the jail’s practices and the circumstances surrounding Epstein’s Aug. 10 death.
Cover image: FILE - This March 28, 2017, file photo, provided by the New York State Sex Offender Registry shows Jeffrey Epstein. (New York State Sex Offender Registry via AP, File)
This article originally appeared on VICE US.