NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There is new information on the apparent suicide of financier Jeffrey Epstein.
The New York City Medical Examiner’s office was expected to release autopsy results on Sunday, but that has been delayed. A spokesperson said an autopsy was performed, but further information is needed before Epstein’s official cause of death is announced. In the interim, CBS2’s Reena Roy has learned more about what happened inside that Manhattan federal prison.
- Timeline Of Epstein’s Life And Crimes
- Read The 2019 U.S. v. Jeffrey Epstein Indictment (PDF)
- More On Jeffrey Epstein
The New York Times reported Epstein was taken off suicide watch after attempting to take his own life just over two weeks ago. He was supposed to be checked by guards every 30 minutes, but that procedure was not being followed the night before he was found, according to the report. The newspaper also said the facility had transferred his cellmate and allowed Epstein to be housed alone.
Sources at the jail told CBS News they often rely on certain inmates to assist guards in monitoring other inmates due to a lack of manpower.
According to those same sources, Epstein had told authorities he feared powerful people might be trying to prevent him from cooperating with authorities. U.S. Attorney General William Barr said he was “appalled” that Epstein was able to kill himself while in federal custody.
The hedge fund manager was arrested July 6 and pleaded not guilty to federal charges. He is accused of enticing and molesting dozens of young girls at his homes in New York and Florida. He was facing up to 45 years in prison.
Jennifer Araoz alleged that Epstein raped her in his New York mansion in the early 2000s when she was 15, saying, “We have to live with the scars of his actions for the rest of our lives, while he will never face the consequences.”
Attorney Lisa Bloom represents several of his alleged victims and said her clients still plan to get justice.
“My clients were shocked, distraught, having a hard time processing this,” Bloom said. “Now that he’s gone, the criminal case dies with him and we are going to file civil claims, civil litigation against Jeffrey Epstein’s estate.”
Meanwhile, Marc Fernich, one of Epstein’s attorneys, said there is “plenty of blame to go around for this unthinkable tragedy.”
Both the FBI and the Department of Justice are investigating the incident. Experts said they’ll likely be looking at surveillance video and interviewing inmates.