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Jeffrey Epstein’s autopsy revealed the multi-millionaire sex predator had multiple breaks to bones in his neck, as questions continue to mount about the circumstances surrounding his death.
Two sources familiar with the autopsy report told The Washington Post that one of the bones broken in Epstein’s neck was the hyoid bone, a bone found near the Adam’s apple in men. The injury can be found in those who hang themselves but it’s more common in cases of manual strangulation.
“If, hypothetically, the hyoid bone is broken, that would generally raise questions about strangulation, but it is not definitive and does not exclude suicidal hanging,” Jonathan L. Arden, president of the National Association of Medical Examiners, told the paper.
Arden is not directly involved in Epstein’s autopsy, but said that, generally speaking, finding the broken hyoid bone requires pathologists to conduct a more extensive investigation.
Epstein was discovered unresponsive in his jail cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center around 6:30 a.m. Saturday with a noose made from a bedsheet wrapped around his neck, according to The New York Post. The bed sheet had been secured to the top bunk in the hedge fund manager’s cell.
Attorney General William Barr has described his death as an “apparent suicide” although no official cause of death has been announced.
New York City’s Chief Medical Examiner Barbara Sampson conducted the autopsy on Sunday but has not announced her official findings. In a statement to The Washington Post about the neck injuries, Sampson said the circumstances of Epstein’s death needed to be examined as a whole.
“In all forensic investigations, all information must be synthesized to determine the cause and manner of death. Everything must be consistent; no single finding can be evaluated in a vacuum,” she said.
A city official told The New York Times earlier this week that Sampson was confident the death had been a suicide by hanging but wanted to collect more information from law enforcement about the circumstances surrounding the death before she drew any conclusions.
Epstein’s death has sparked a series of conspiracy theories by those who have noted the financier’s association or ties to other powerful men including former President Bill Clinton, Britain’s Prince Andrew and President Donald Trump.
In a 2018 interview with New York Times journalist James Stewart, Epstein claimed to know the secrets of other influential men.
“The overriding impression I took away from our roughly 90-minute conversation was that Mr. Epstein knew an astonishing number of rich, famous and powerful people, and had photos to prove it,” Stewart wrote earlier this week of the encounter. “He also claimed to know a great deal about these people, some of it potentially damaging or embarrassing, including details about their supposed sexual proclivities and recreational drug use.”
Epstein had been facing federal sex trafficking charges, with prosecutors alleging that the multi-millionaire had lured dozens of underage girls to his mansions in New York and Florida between 2002 and 2005 for the purpose of having sex.
Epstein was being held at the time of his death at the ultra-secure Metropolitan Correctional Center. However, new details have emerged suggesting that the guards on duty at the time of his death had been working extreme overtime.
Sources also told The New York Times that the guards had fallen asleep and had not checked on Epstein in three hours. Under jail policy, Epstein should have been checked every 30 minutes.
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