MIAMI — The New York City medical examiner’s office has ruled that Jeffrey Epstein’s death was a suicide by hanging.
The official statement wasted few words, and it was far from clear that it would calm the storm of conspiracy theories swirling around the multimillionaire’s death.
In a statement attributed to Chief Medical Examiner Barbara Sampson, the office stated: “After careful review of all investigative information, including complete autopsy findings, the determination on the death of Jeffrey Epstein is below — ”
That was followed by:
The statement was conveyed by Aja Worthy-Davis, a spokeswoman for the medical examiner’s office.
Previous published reports, based on leaks, had indicated that various bones in Epstein’s neck were broken, including one near the Adam’s apple called the hyoid bone.
Though damage to that particular bone is more common in cases of strangulation, medical experts said the bone is more easily damaged in older people such as Epstein, who was 66.
Epstein was found dead in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan on Aug. 10, one day after a federal court unsealed nearly 2,000 pages of Epstein-related documents that offered sordid details of the alleged trafficking of girls by the financier and his ex-girlfriend and purported madam, British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell.
The documents alleged a pyramidlike sex trafficking operation that ran over a number of years in the early to mid-2000s.
In the wake of the suicide finding, social media remained abuzz in speculation that foul play was behind the death of the man who was arrested early last month on charges that he ran a sex-trafficking operation out of his opulent homes in Palm Beach and Manhattan.
President Donald Trump had seemingly fueled that speculation when he retweeted suggestions that the Clintons might have had a hand in the death.
Epstein, who also had homes in Paris and New Mexico and a hideaway on his private island in the Virgin Islands, was friends with both Bill Clinton and Donald Trump over a period of years, although both said they had not associated with him recently.
A former high school math teacher-turned-financier, Epstein had been held since July 6, when he was arrested at New Jersey’s Teterboro airport upon arrival in his private jet after a flight from Paris. He was facing allegations of trafficking and sexually abusing girls as young as 14 and awaiting trial on federal charges.
Guards at the federal jail found Epstein on Saturday morning. He was alone in his cell and appeared to have hanged himself by tying a bed sheet to a top bunk bed and falling forward with enough force to break several bones in his neck, according to reports.
In response to Epstein’s suicide, the Justice Department suspended two jail guards and transferred the warden.
Attorney General William Barr also pledged an aggressive investigation into the federally operated jail where Epstein had been held and where he had reportedly tried to take his life weeks earlier.
“We are now learning of serious irregularities at this facility that are deeply concerning and that demand a thorough investigation,” Barr said on Monday in New Orleans while addressing the national conference of the Fraternal Order of Police.