Jeffrey Epstein's autopsy showed he died by suicide, the medical examiner says

ReutersJeffrey Epstein.
  • Jeffrey Epstein died by suicide, New York City’s chief medical examiner ruled on Friday.
  • The news comes nearly a week after Epstein was found dead in his Manhattan jail cell. He had faced federal charges of sex trafficking of minors and conspiracy.
  • The medical examiner had previously stopped short of ruling on a cause of death, determining only that Epstein had broken multiple bones in his neck. Officials said Epstein hanged himself from the bunk in his cell.
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New York City’s chief medical examiner ruled on Friday that the financier and accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein died by suicide, The New York Times reported.

The news comes nearly a week after Epstein was found dead in his Manhattan jail cell. He had faced federal charges of sex trafficking of minors and conspiracy.

Previously, officials had referred to Epstein’s death as an “apparent suicide,” and the autopsy report had stopped short of formally announcing the cause of death but determined that Epstein had multiple broken bones in his neck.

The broken bones had fuelled speculation that Epstein’s death was caused by foul play, but medical experts had warned against such theories, saying the injuries were consistent with hanging.

Read more: Despite the conspiracy theories, broken bones in Epstein’s neck aren’t proof he was murdered, medical experts say

Officials said Epstein tied a bedsheet to the top bunk in his cell, then leaned forward forcefully enough to break the neck bones, according to The Times.

Epstein was arrested on July 6 and charged with one count of sex trafficking and one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking. Federal prosecutors alleged he abused dozens of girls as young as 14 over a period of years. Epstein pleaded not guilty.

Jail officials have drawn heavy scrutiny for their actions in handling Epstein. He was placed on suicide watch in late July after he sustained minor neck injuries in an apparent suicide attempt, but he was put back in a special housing unit just days later.

The guards tasked with monitoring Epstein are also suspected of falsifying records that showed how often they were checking on Epstein, according to media reports. Though the guards were supposed to monitor him every half hour, they fell asleep for several hours after working extreme overtime shifts, The Associated Press reported, citing a person with knowledge of the jail’s practices.

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