The chief medical examiner of New York City has ruled that Jeffrey Epstein, the well-connected jailed financier and accused child sex trafficker with ties to many powerful people, died of suicide by hanging.
Epstein was found unresponsive Saturday morning in his jail cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan. His mysterious death while awaiting trial on federal sex trafficking had spawned multiple conspiracy theories, though officials had suspected suicide early on.
A preliminary autopsy report on Thursday indicated that various bones in his neck were broken, including one near the Adam’s apple called the hyoid bone. Damage to that particular bone is more common in cases of strangulation, a fact that fueled speculation all week. Experts said the bone is more easily damaged though, including by hanging, in older people such as Epstein, who was 66.
Attorney General William Barr said Sunday that he was “appalled” by Epstein’s death and said federal investigations were underway.
Epstein, who has ties to Presidents Trump and Clinton, was arrested on July 6 for alleged involvement in a sex-trafficking ring involving underage girls and a collection of child pornography. He had pleaded not guilty.
Reports had surfaced this week that the guards who were assigned to Epstein’s cell were working “extreme overnight shifts” to make up for staffing shortages the morning of his apparent suicide. According to The New York Times, the staff did not follow protocols leading up to Epstein’s death.
He had been put on suicide watch following a July 24 incident in which Epstein was found with injuries to his neck.
Greg Evans and Dino-Ray Ramos contributed to this report.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.