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Medical Examiner Stands By Jeffrey Epstein Suicide Findings After Expert Hired By His Family Raises Doubts

Dr. Michael Baden tells Fox News that Epstein sustained injuries that are "extremely unusual in suicidal hangings," but New York Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Barbara Sampson reaffirms her conclusion.

By Jill Sederstrom
Medical Examiner Rules Jeffrey Epstein's Death A Suicide

New York's medical examiner is standing by her findings that Jeffrey Epstein's death was a suicide despite a renowned forensic pathologist's assertion that the evidence seems more consistent with a homicidal strangling.

“Our investigation concluded that the cause of Mr. Epstein’s death was hanging and the manner of death was suicide. We stand by that determination," New York's Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Barbara Sampson said in a statement Wednesday provided to Oxygen.com. "We continue to share information around the medical investigation with Mr. Epstein's family, their representatives, and their pathology consultant. The original medical investigation was thorough and complete. There is no reason for a second medical investigation by our office." 

Sampson's response came after Dr. Michael Baden appeared on Wednesday's episode of "Fox & Friends" to discuss his initial impressions of the case after being hired by Jeffrey Epstein's brother to conduct an independent evaluation of the sexual predator's death behind bars.

Epstein's death in August while in custody at a federal jail sparked numerous conspiracy theories that the disgraced financier may have been killed to prevent him from sharing information he may have had on other powerful figures.

Baden, a former New York City medical examiner who also serves as a Fox News contributor, observed Epstein’s autopsy and noticed several fractures in his neck that he found “extremely unusual” for a suicide, Fox News reports.

Specifically, he said Epstein had two fractures on the left and right sides of his larynx as well as a fracture on the left hyoid bone above the Adam’s apple.

“Those three fractures are extremely unusual in suicidal hangings and could occur much more commonly in homicidal strangulation,” Baden said on the show.

He went on to say that he had not seen those types of injuries in a suicidal hanging case during his 50-year career.

Baden also said there were hemorrhages in Epstein’s eyes, which can be common in homicidal strangulations but are not impossible in suicidal hangings.

While Baden observed Epstein’s autopsy, he did not conduct it himself and stressed that his independent investigation was not complete and is awaiting additional information.

He also said that he does not believe there is enough evidence at this point to draw any formal conclusions about the death.

Epstein was discovered dead in his federal jail cell on Aug. 10  at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, according to The New York Times.

When he died, Epstein had been awaiting trial on federal sex-trafficking charges after authorities alleged that he had lured dozens of underage girls to his mansions in New York and Florida between 2002 and 2005 for sex.

The conspiracy theories around his death continued to grow particularly after it was revealed that there had been major security lapses at the prison at the time of his death.

According to The New York Times, the two guards assigned to watch Epstein hadn't checked on him for hours despite regulations at the jail requiring regular checks.

A federal investigation into the lapses was ordered by U.S. Attorney General William Barr and is still underway, The Miami Herald reports.  

Just weeks before he died, Epstein had been placed on suicide watch after being found on the floor of his prison cell with marks around his neck. However, he was taken off suicide watch prior to his death.

Although Epstein initially had a roommate in the special housing unit where he had been kept, that person was later moved and Epstein had been alone in his cell when he died, according to CNN.

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