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Jeffrey Epstein's autopsy results expected as FBI and DOJ watchdog investigate apparent suicide

Key Points
  • The New York City medical examiner performed the autopsy of Jeffrey Epstein on Sunday, but said its determination is "pending further information at this time." 
  • Epstein, accused of sexually assaulting and trafficking girls as young as 14, was found dead Saturday morning after he hanged himself in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center.
  • After a previous suicide attempt on July 23, Epstein was put on 24-hour suicide watch for six days, then removed to a special housing unit with another inmate, according to prison officials.
  • The other inmate was later moved out of the unit, leaving Epstein alone and not properly monitored by guards.
VIDEO2:0602:06
NYC medical examiner: Epstein autopsy results will be delayed


The New York City medical examiner performed the autopsy of Jeffrey Epstein on Sunday, but said its determination is "pending further information at this time."

Epstein, accused of sexually assaulting and trafficking girls as young as 14, was found dead Saturday morning after he hanged himself in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center.

Statement from Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Barbara Sampson

Today, a medical examiner performed the autopsy of Jeffrey Epstein. The ME's determination is pending further information at this time. At the request of those representing the decedent, and with the awareness of the federal prosecutor, I allowed a private pathologist (Dr. Michael Baden) to observe the autopsy examination. This is routine practice. My office defers to the involved law enforcement agencies regarding other investigations around this death. Inquiries regarding the determination of the Chief Medical Examiner should be directed towards my office.

Attorney General William Barr said he was "appalled" at Epstein's apparent death by suicide, saying it "raises serious questions" and confirmed the Justice Department's watchdog and the FBI would investigate the circumstances of the death.

After a previous suicide attempt on July 23, Epstein was put on 24-hour suicide watch for six days, then removed to a special housing unit with another inmate, according to prison officials. The other inmate was later moved out of the unit, leaving Epstein alone and not properly monitored by guards, according to The New York Times.

Epstein underwent a psychiatric evaluation and the decision was made to clear him from suicide watch, sources told NBC News.

The Justice Department's watchdog is looking into whether corrections officers conducted routine checks on Epstein as required, the sources said.

It's unclear how long of a time gap there was between Epstein's last check and when he was found dead. Sources said that guards typically avoid checking on inmates at the same 30 minute interval each hour, so inmates are more aware of when guards will be around.

Following the suicide, high-profile politicians, law enforcement officials and Epstein's victims are demanding answers about why Epstein was not being more carefully watched in the high-security facility.

Epstein's suicide came a day after thousands of documents were released that included depositions, police reports, photographs and flight logs revealing new details into what federal prosecutors call Epstein's longtime sex-trafficking operation.

VIDEO11:2511:25
NYT reporter explains Jeffrey Epstein's Wall Street connections