An autopsy was performed on the remains on disgraced former financier Jeffrey Epstein Sunday, after he was found dead in his prison cell from an apparent suicide.
While the autopsy was completed, the medical examiner’s determination based on the autopsy has not yet been released, pending further information, the chief medical examiner for the City of New York, Dr. Barbara Sampson, said Sunday.
No cause of death has been officially determined by the NYC medical examiner’s office, though it is believed Epstein hanged himself.
The autopsy was performed as questions remain surrounding the circumstances of his death – questions which have prompted wide-spread rumors regarding the suicide, and even conspiracy theories suggesting that the well-connected financier was in fact murdered to prevent him from testifying against other possible offenders.
Federal officials told CNN that no foul play is suspected in Epstein’s death, while the Federal Bureau of Prisons called it “an apparent suicide”.
The FBI is investigating the matter, however, amid apparent failures to properly monitor Epstein following an earlier incident that left him injured.
While it is unclear whether Epstein was injured as a result of a suicide attempt or an attack by fellow inmates, he was placed on suicide watch after being found with injuries to his neck on July 23rd.
Six days later, however, he was removed from suicide watch and returned to the Metropolitan Correction Center’s special housing unit where he had been previously held, after a psychiatric evaluation determined that he was no longer at risk of harming himself.
The 66-year-old former billionaire was found dead early Saturday morning in his cell at the Metropolitan Correction Center in Manhattan. While Epstein was initially placed with another inmate, as required by prison regulations after an inmate is removed from prison watch, guards later transferred Epstein’s cellmate out, leaving Epstein alone. No new cellmate was assigned to Epstein.
Guards also failed Friday night to monitor Epstein with the required checks every 30 minutes.
Epstein, who prior to 2008 had an estimated net worth over one billion dollars, was first tried for sex crimes in 2007, reaching a widely criticized plea bargain deal with prosecutors which saw him freed after a 13-month incarceration, during which he was given 12-hour leaves six days a week.
But Epstein was set to face trial next year after new revelations emerged last month regarding the alleged sexual abuse and sex trafficking of young women and underage girls.