Wealthy financier and registered sex offender Jeffrey Epstein died of suicide by hanging, the results of an official autopsy showed Friday.
Epstein, who was awaiting trial on federal sex trafficking charges, was found dead in his Manhattan Correctional Center cell early Saturday morning.
He is believed to have tied a bedsheet to the top of a bunk bed, then knelt to the floor, the New York Times reported Friday. In doing so, he used so much force that he broke bones in his neck — a phenomenon that isn’t uncommon among older people, but lent ammo to conspiracy theories that he was murdered.
By the time of his death, Epstein, 66, had been taken off suicide watch, even though he apparently tried to kill himself weeks earlier. It is common practice to house such people with another cellmate, but Epstein was still living alone when he died.
The two guards assigned to watch him also didn’t check in on him for hours and, indeed, had fallen asleep, the New York Times reported earlier this week. They then reportedly tried to falsify records to cover up their failure.
Attorney General William Barr, who leads the federal prison system, has vowed to get to the bottom of what happened to one of the system’s highest-profile defendants. There are now multiple investigations into Epstein’s death.
“We are now learning of serious irregularities at this facility that are deeply concerning and demand a thorough investigation," he told the public earlier this week.
The probe into his alleged sex trafficking ring — and any potential co-conspirators Epstein may have had — is also continuing.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text TALK to 741741, or visit Suicide Prevention Lifeline for more information.
Cover: This March 28, 2017, file photo, provided by the New York State Sex Offender Registry shows Jeffrey Epstein. New York City’s medical examiner has ruled Epstein’s death a suicide. The medical examiner’s office said in a statement Friday, Aug. 16, 2019, that an autopsy and other evidence confirms the 66-year-old financier hanged himself in his cell at a federal jail. (New York State Sex Offender Registry via AP, File)