New York City’s chief medical examiner ruled Friday that billionaire Jeffrey Epstein died by suicide, hanging himself in the Manhattan jail cell where he was awaiting trial on charges of sex trafficking underage girls.
Epstein was found dead in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center last Saturday. After apparently attempting suicide a few weeks earlier, on July 23, he’d been put on suicide watch for a time, but the watch was later removed for unknown reasons. His death came a day after court documents were unsealed detailing allegations that he’d operated a sex-trafficking ring that abused girls as young as 14.
Responding to the widespread speculation and conflicting reports surrounding Epstein’s death in a statement on Thursday, Chief Medical Examiner Barbara Sampson had cautioned against taking details out of context.
“In all forensic investigations, all information must be synthesized to determine the cause and manner of death. Everything must be consistent; no single finding can be evaluated in a vacuum,” Sampson said.
Epstein’s death has prompted outrage and sparked a number of conspiracy theories, and a Justice Department investigation of the circumstances that enabled it is currently underway. Attorney General William Barr said earlier this week that investigators have already found “serious irregularities” at the facility where Epstein was being held.