Jeffrey Epstein, the disgraced wealthy financier indicted on sex trafficking charges, died overnight by an apparent suicide in his Manhattan jail cell, federal officials said Saturday.
The U.S. Bureau of Prisons said in a statement obtained by The Hill that Epstein, 66, was found unresponsive around 6:30 a.m. in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in lower Manhattan.
Emergency responders transported Epstein to a local hospital where he was later pronounced dead, federal authorities said. The Justice Department called the incident an “apparent suicide” and said the FBI would investigate.
The financier had reportedly been placed on suicide watch in late July, when he was found unconscious in his jail cell with injuries to his neck. Multiple reports emerged Saturday revealing he was not under suicide watch at the time of his death.
Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrDOJ releases notes from official Bruce Ohr’s Russia probe interviews FBI tells lawmakers it can’t access Dayton gunman’s phone FBI Agents Association calls on Congress to make ‘domestic terrorism’ a federal crime MORE said in a statement that he was “appalled” by Epstein’s death in federal custody, saying the incident would be investigated by the FBI and the Justice Department’s inspector general.
“Mr. Epstein’s death raises serious questions that must be answered,” Barr said.
Authorities at the MCC did not immediately return a request for comment from The Hill on Saturday.
Attorney Lisa Bloom, who represented a number of Epstein’s accusers, told NBC News in a statement that his death robbed his alleged victims of their chance for justice.
“On behalf of the victims I represent, we would have preferred he [Jeffrey Epstein] lived to face justice. Our civil cases can still proceed against his estate. Victims deserve to be made whole for the lifelong damage he caused. We’re just getting started,” she tweeted.
Epstein, who was arrested early last month, was in jail awaiting trial on allegations that he trafficked dozens of minors for sex. He previously accepted a plea deal in 2008 over similar accusations that landed him on the sex offender registry.
The financier had various business relationships with high-profile individuals, and had connections to at least two U.S. presidents, Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpThe inadvertent cyber wisdom of Donald J. Trump Is the film ‘The Hunt’ a misfire or a direct hit in our left-right divide? Warren unveils plan to combat gun violence MORE and Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonEpstein dies by apparent suicide in jail The Hill’s Campaign Report: 2020 Democrats challenge Trump’s response to El Paso Clinton expands on call to reinstate assault weapons ban: ‘It’s a different w