Jeffrey Epstein died by hanging himself, according to an autopsy released Friday, capping days of speculation about how the disgraced financier died in his jail cell, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The results of the autopsy, which was completed by the New York City medical examiner’s office, come less than a week after Epstein died at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, where he was in custody awaiting trial on federal sex-trafficking charges. He was 66 years old.
In a brief statement, Barbara Sampson, the chief medical examiner in New York City, said Epstein’s cause of death was suicide by hanging. She didn’t elaborate further, saying she reached her determination after “careful review of all investigative information.”
Early findings by authorities indicated Epstein hung himself by using his bed sheet, according to people familiar with the investigation. Authorities believe he tied the bed sheet to the top bunk of his bunk bed, then knelt forward to the floor, one of the people said.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Department’s inspector general launched investigations into his death. Senior Justice Department officials visited the MCC this week after Attorney General William Barr said investigators had uncovered “serious irregularities” at the jail.
Lawyers for Epstein said they weren’t satisfied with the medical examiner’s conclusions. In a statement late Friday, they said the defense team would conduct its own independent investigation into the cause of his death, including using any legal action necessary to view video footage of the areas around his jail cell from the night of his death.