NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Jeffrey Epstein has died by apparent suicide in jail.
In a release, the U.S. Department of Justice says Epstein was found unresponsive in his cell from an apparent suicide at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York around 6:30 a.m Saturday.
Sources tell CBS2 Epstein hanged himself.
Epstein was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
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The FBI is investigating.
Attorney General William P. Barr issued the following statement:
“I was appalled to learn that Jeffrey Epstein was found dead early this morning from an apparent suicide while in federal custody. 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.”
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman also released a statement:
“Earlier this morning, the Manhattan Correctional Center confirmed that Jeffrey Epstein, who faced charges brought by this Office of engaging in the sex trafficking of minors, had been found unresponsive in his cell and was pronounced dead shortly thereafter of an apparent suicide. Today’s events are disturbing, and we are deeply aware of their potential to present yet another hurdle to giving Epstein’s many victims their day in Court. To those brave young women who have already come forward and to the many others who have yet to do so, let me reiterate that we remain committed to standing for you, and our investigation of the conduct charged in the Indictment – which included a conspiracy count – remains ongoing.
We continue to urge anyone who feels they may be a victim or have information related to the conduct in this case to please contact 1-800- CALL FBI.”
Last month, sources told CBS2 Epstein was put on suicide watch after he was found injured on the floor of his jail cell with bruises on his neck, according to a person familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity. At the time, it was not clear whether the injuries were self-inflicted or from an assault.
Epstein arrived at the correctional center on July 6 after being indicted for sex trafficking of minors and conspiracy.
He was accused of recruiting and abusing dozens of underage girls at his $77 million New York mansion and Florida home in the early 2000s.
The 66-year-old pleaded not guilty in July.
A judge denied bail, saying, “I doubt that any bail package can overcome danger to the community.”
Epstein’s defense team — Martin Weinberg, Michael Miller and Reid Weingarten — released the following statement Saturday:
“We are enormously sorry to learn of today’s news. No one should die in jail. We cannot confirm rumors as to his cause of death, and we trust that the United States Attorney’s Office and the United States Marshals will thoroughly investigate the circumstances of today’s tragedy.”
A former warden told the Associated Press that Epstein’s suicide in jail represents a “shocking failure” of the system.
Cameron Lindsay, who ran three federal lockups, says Epstein should have been under constant supervision.
Stay with CBS2 for more on this developing story.