The New York City medical examiner has determined that accused pedophile Jeffrey Epstein's cause of death was suicide by hanging, according to a report in the New York Times.
Epstein, 66, was discovered unconscious in his cell last week at the Metropolitan Correctional Center where he was awaiting trial on federal sex-trafficking charges. The multi-millionaire had pleaded 'not guilty' to the charges of sexually abusing girls as young as 14 and running a sex trafficking ring.
An autopsy was performed on Sunday by the city's chief medical examiner, Barbara Sampson, but those results were withheld, pending further information. A report in the Washington Post revealed Epstein had sustained "multiple breaks in his neck bones"
According to people familiar with the autopsy report, one of the bones that were broken in Epstein's neck is known as the "hyoid bone," which is located near the Adam's apple on a man, the newspaper reported. Such injuries can be associated with hanging suicides - especially in older individuals. However, forensics experts say that type of injury is far more common for victims who have been strangled. News of the autopsy results adds to the deepening mystery surrounding the multi-millionaire's death in a jail that had not seen a suicide in the previous 21 years.
The New York Times reported that two prison staff members responsible for guarding the unit where Epstein was being housed, failed to check on him for about three hours. Prisoners being detained in the special housing unit are supposed to be checked on by guards every 30 minutes, CNN reported. This week, Attorney General William Barr reassigned the warden at the prison where Epstein died and two staff members were also placed on administrative leave.
The FBI and the Justice Department have launched an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Epstein's death. On Tuesday, FBI agents were spotted raiding Epstein's private island in the Caribbean.