Jeffery Epstein died from a suicide by hanging, the New York City medical examiner ruled Friday, a much-awaited final determination that authorities hope will put to rest conspiracy theories that have swirled since the sex offender awaiting trial hanged himself in a Manhattan jail cell last week.
However, hours after the medical examiner’s conclusion was announced, Epstein’s lawyers vowed to launch their own “independent” investigation, saying they’re prepared to sue to obtain surveillance video of the area near the accused sex trafficker’s cell at the time of his death.
“We are not satisfied with the conclusions,” his legal team said in a statement signed by attorneys Martin G. Weinberg, Reid Weingarten and Michael Miller.
A person familiar with the investigation said that autopsy photos showed that the marks around Epstein’s neck did not look like those left by a rope, but instead looked more like those from fabric, which is consistent with reports that he had used a bed sheet that is issued to all prisoners who are not on suicide watch.
Epstein, 66, was found unconscious around 6:30 a.m. on Aug. 10 with a bedsheet around his neck at the Metropolitan Correctional Center where he had been held while awaiting trial on federal sex-trafficking charges. He was pronounced dead about an hour later after being transported to a nearby hospital.
The ruling comes a week after Sampson’s office finished the autopsy on Epstein’s corpse. The medical examiner’s office had been waiting for additional information such as toxicology results and reports from law-enforcement agencies including the FBI and the Bureau of Prisons who are investigating how Epstein was able to kill himself while under heavy security at a jail cell, officials said.