The autopsy performed on Jeffrey Epstein over the weekend found that several bones in his neck were broken, the Washington Post reported Wednesday.
Citing unnamed individuals it said were familiar with the autopsy results, the Post reported that among the broken bones was the hyoid bone, which is near the Adam’s apple in men. Citing forensic experts, the Post reported that while the bone is known to break during hangings, breaks are more common in deaths by strangulation. However, the Post also noted that the bone is more prone to break in older men during a hanging; Epstein was 66 at the time of his death.
Barbara Sampson, New York City chief medical examiner, performed the autopsy on Sunday but declared that the cause of his death needs further investigation.
“Today, a medical examiner performer the autopsy of Jeffrey Epstein,” Sampson said in a statement released Sunday. “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 (Dr. Michael Baden) to observe the autopsy examination. This is routine practice.”
Epstein was found hanged in his cell in the Metropolitan Correctional Center on Saturday morning as he awaited trial in federal charges of sex trafficking. He was transported to a nearby hospital, where he died, according to a statement by the Metropolitan Correctional Center.
Epstein had been placed on suicide watch in his Manhattan cell after he was found nearly unconscious on July 29 with injuries around his neck. It’s unclear how he sustained his injuries. But, according to the New York Daily News, he had been taken off suicide watch just six days before his death.
The financier was arrested in early July and charged with sex trafficking by federal prosecutors, but over a decade prior to that, he pleaded guilty in Florida to soliciting a minor for prostitution. He served 13 months of an 18-month sentence and was released in 2009.
Federal prosecutors have said that Epstein sexually abused dozens of underage girls and paid many of them to recruit others. Investigators also said they found “nude photographs of what appear to be underage girls” during a search of his mansion after his arrest. He had pleaded not guilty to the charges.