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NY chief medical examiner 'confident' Jeffrey Epstein died of suicide by hanging

Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement, AFP | This handout photo obtained July 10, 2019, shows Jeffrey Epstein from a sexual Offender/Predator Flyer in July 25, 2013.

New York City's chief medical examiner is confident Jeffrey Epstein died by hanging himself in the jail cell where he was being held on sex-trafficking charges, but is awaiting more information, the New York Times reported on Sunday.

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An autopsy was performed earlier in the day on the disgraced financier found unresponsive on Saturday in a New York City jail, chief medical examiner Dr. Barbara Sampson said. A private pathologist observed the autopsy on behalf of Epstein's representatives, which she called "routine practice."

A determination on the cause of death "is pending further information at this time," Sampson said in a statement.

The suspicion in Epstein's death was hanging, said a city official not authorized to speak on the record.

The Times did not say why it could not identify the source of information on the medical examiner's likely determination of the cause of death.

Epstein, 66, was not on suicide watch at the time in his cell in the Special Housing Unit of the Metropolitan Correctional Centre (MCC), a source said.

Epstein, a well-connected money manager, was found hanging by his neck, according to the source, who was not authorized to speak on the record.

The wealthy financier, who once counted Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic former President Bill Clinton as friends, was arrested on July 6 and pleaded not guilty to charges of sex trafficking involving dozens of underage girls as young as 14, from at least 2002 to 2005.The FBI and the Department of Justice's Inspector General opened investigations into his suicide while he was in federal custody.

Last month, Epstein was found unconscious on the floor of his jail cell with marks on his neck, and officials were investigating that incident as a possible suicide or assault.

Despite that incident, Epstein was not on suicide watch at the time of his death, and he was alone in a cell in the unit of the correctional centre used to isolate vulnerable prisoners when his body was found.

It was not immediately clear why Epstein was taken off suicide watch, a special set of procedures for inmates who are deemed to be at risk of taking their own lives.

(REUTERS)

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