Several people who had accused multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein of years of forcing and/or paying underage girls to provide sex for some of America’s most prominent people, including Donald Trump, have expressed dismay at his reported death Saturday. He was found in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan. Epstein was being held without bail on two sex trafficking counts and was facing 45 years in prison if convicted.
Authorities said he had apparently hanged himself. The FBI is investigating the circumstances. NBC reports:
Epstein, 66, was in his federal jail cell in downtown Manhattan but was not on suicide watch at the time of his death, multiple people familiar with the investigation told NBC News. He had apparently hanged himself, and was found unresponsive at around 6:30 a.m. ET. [...]
His death came the day after a trove of court documents was unsealed, providing new details about Epstein's alleged sex trafficking. [...]
The FBI does not normally look into suicides at a federal Bureau of Prisons facility, but given the nature of this case and out of an “abundance of caution,” it has undertaken this probe, a senior law enforcement official said.
NBC stated “There is nothing at this point to suggest foul play in Epstein's death” without citing a source for the assertion. He had previously been on suicide watch, but authorities say this was not the case Saturday. One source said he had been taken off suicide watch just hours before he was found dead. A bit more than two weeks ago, Epstein was found injured and semi-conscious in his cell with marks on his neck.
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