The billionaire financier and accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein died of an apparent suicide Saturday evening while under federal custody in the United States. Department of Justice.
Epstein, 66, was in the cemetery of his federal jail in downtown Manhattan but was not on a suicide watch at the moment of his death. He seemed to be hanging up and discovered unresponsive at 6:30 a.m. ET.
Attorney general William Barr said that while in federal detention, he was “horrified to know that Jeffrey Epstein had been discovered dead.” He said he consulted the general inspector of the Department of Justice who is opening an inquiry into the conditions.
“The death of Mr. Epstein raises grave questions that need to be addressed,” Barr added.
Epstein died a little more than two weeks after being discovered wounded and fatally in his cell at Manhattan’s Federal Metropolitan Correctional Center. At that moment, he was half-conscious with marks on his throat.
In July, two sources said Epstein was watching for suicide.
His death came the day after several court documents were unsealed, with new information on the alleged sex traffic in Epstein.
Epstein, who had been held on federal charges of gender trafficking, was taken from prison to a clinic in reduced Manhattan on Saturday morning. He was in a cardiac arrest on his arrival, individuals familiar with the subject said.
The Justice Department said Epstein was declared dead in the hospital. The FBI examines his death.
The FBI usually does not examine suicides at a federal prison official, but, considering the nature of the situation and “a lot of caution,” he has taken up the test, a senior law enforcement official said.
Nothing suggests foul play in Epstein’s death at this stage.
Former Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who resigned in May, wrote in a tweet that Epstein-like charges were very often at elevated danger of suicide and that in instances of Maryland, where Rosenstein was previously a U.S. Attorney, several defendants were published on bail.
“It is hard to stop individuals from harming themselves,” he said.
Jack Donson, a former federal Prison Office case manager, informed that suicide monitoring in the federal lock-up is “generally just a few days a week” owing to the quantity of work involved in 24-hour supervision.
“Extra-time shifts require employees” and “resource utilization is not regarded to be good,” Donson said.
Staff “assess” when they think the prisoner is in “imminent risk,” and then the guard and chief psychologist decide what to do with the prisoner, Donson said.