Jeffrey Epstein's manner of death 'pending further information,' coroner says

Posted August 13, 2019

As if there needed to be one more unusual circumstance surrounding what authorities initially classified as the "apparent suicide" of Jeffrey Epstein, officials at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City have dropped yet another doozy.

Correctional officers were instructed to check on the inmate every half an hour, but on the day Epstein died, they had allegedly failed to see him for several hours.

Guards did not properly surveil accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein in the hours leading up to his death, according to reports from the Washington Post, New York Times and Associated Press.

Republican Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, the state where some of Epstein's alleged sexual abuse crimes took place, suggested the possibility that others might have been involved in Epstein's death when he called on corrections officials to explain what happened at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan. Those gripes are now part of the investigation into whether the 30-minute checks were happening, sources said.

"Now if they want to make cases against others they have to rely upon the accusers who didn't come forward at the time, and perhaps circumstantial documentary evidence", Greenberg said.

Mrs. Conway defended the administration's response to Mr. Epstein's death, praising Mr. Barr for immediately launching an investigation.

The medical examiner's determination is pending further information, Dr. Barbara Sampson, chief medical examiner of the City of NY, said in a press release.

Epstein, a 66-year-old financier who was arrested in July on sex trafficking charges, was being held in New York City's Metropolitan Correctional Center but, according to the Bureau of Prisons, appeared to have killed himself early August 10.

At the time of his death, Epstein was being held without bail and faced up to 45 years in prison on federal sex trafficking and conspiracy charges unsealed last month. He had pleaded not guilty and was awaiting trial.

Attorney General William Barr said "serious questions" about the death of Jeffrey Epstein must be answered.

It's not clear why his attorneys had requested that he be taken off suicide watch.

"This is routine practice", Sampson said.

Epstein had been placed on suicide watch after he was found a little over two weeks ago with bruising on his neck, according to a person familiar with the matter who wasn't authorized to discuss it publicly.

A longtime pathologist who used to work for the chief medical examiner's office, Dr. Joe Cohen, said it's not unusual that the medical examiner would wait to release a cause of death.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons declined to comment Sunday. Other news outlets, including the New York Times and TMZ, reported that guards were supposed to check him at the same time intervals.