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Report: Jeffrey Epstein had been taken off suicide watch prior to his death
New details are emerging in the sudden and surprising death of multimillionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein.
According to a report from Reuters, Epstein was not on suicide watch at the time of his death. The outlet reported that it was unclear why the 66-year-old was taken off suicide watch ahead of his death on Saturday morning, when he was found unconscious in his jail cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in New York.
Prison staff administered life-saving procedures before Epstein was taken by ambulance to the nearby New York–Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital, according to a statement from the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
The New York Post reported that it wasn’t until around 7:30 a.m., roughly an hour after he was found unresponsive, that Epstein was wheeled out of the jail and taken to the hospital. He was later pronounced dead.
Epstein dies in federal custody
Multiple officials have confirmed to news outlets that Epstein’s death was indeed self-inflicted, but an official cause of death has yet to be announced.
Reuters reported that the formerly convicted pedophile “was found hanging by his neck” on Saturday. He was originally arrested early last month “and pleaded not guilty to charges of sex trafficking involving dozens of underage girls as young as 14, from at least 2002 to 2005,” according to Reuters.
In July, Epstein was believed to have attempted suicide; he was found unconscious in his cell with injuries to his neck, prompting the multimillionaire’s placement on the prison’s suicide watch program — a placement that reports say ended shortly before Epstein’s death.
Still, guards were apparently supposed to check on all prisoners frequently — though reports allege that they dropped the ball on that front.
“At the MCC, two jail guards are required to make separate checks on all prisoners every 30 minutes, but that procedure was not followed overnight,” Reuters reported. “In addition, every 15 minutes guards are required to make another check on prisoners who are on suicide watch.”
Reports like these have raised suspicions across the country — including in Washington. Indeed, Attorney General William Barr has reportedly directed the FBI and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate Epstein’s death.
“I was appalled to learn that Jeffrey Epstein was found dead early this morning from an apparent suicide while in federal custody,” Barr said in a statement. “Mr. Epstein’s death raises serious questions that must be answered. In addition to the FBI’s investigation, I have consulted with the Inspector General who is opening an investigation into the circumstances of Mr. Epstein’s death.”
What will they find? Only time will tell.
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