A postmortem has revealed that Jeffrey Epstein had various fractures in his neckbones, two people familiar with the matter reportedly said. The cause of death was still listed as pending.
One of the bones that were broken was the hyoid, a bone near the Adam’s apple in men that often breaks in people who hang themselves and is ore commonly found fractured in people who have been strangulated to death, the unnamed experts told the Washington Post.
Epstein, 66, was a multi-millionaire accused of running a sex traffic ring that involved minor girls as young as 14. The convicted sex offender was in federal custody on sex trafficking charges.
He died on Saturday, Aug. 10, of “apparent suicide” after guards reportedly found him hanging in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan.
The autopsy on Epstein’s body was concluded on Sunday by New York City’s chief medical examiner, Barbara Sampson, who was asked about the neck injuries and said in a statement that a single factor in an autopsy can’t determine a conclusive answer.
“In all forensic investigations, all information must be synthesized to determine the cause and manner of death. Everything must be consistent; no single finding can be evaluated in a vacuum,” Sampson told the Post.
Epstein appeared to have attempted suicide on July 23, which resulted in his placement on suicide watch.
The New York Times reported that two prison officials that know about the incident said the two staff members did not check on Epstein for around 3 hours before he was found.
According to Britannica, the hyoid bone is a “U-shaped bone situated at the root of the tongue in the front of the neck and between the lower jaw and the largest cartilage of the larynx, or voice box. … It has no articulation with other bones.”
A forensic pathology study in 2018 found that out of 178 suicidal hanging victims, 72.5 percent of the cases had hyoid fractures.
Another study by Pollanen and Chiasson in 1996 states that the hyoid “is fractured in one-third of all homicides by strangulation. … However, since many cases lack a hyoid fracture, the absence of this finding does not exclude strangulation as a cause of death. The reasons why some hyoids fracture and others do not may relate to the nature and magnitude of force applied to the neck, age of the victim, nature of the instrument (ligature or hands) used to strangle, and intrinsic anatomic features of the hyoid bone.”
Former New York Mayor Rudi Giuliani has questioned the incident, saying that Epstein’s suicide was “mind-boggling,” and “impossible to happen.”
“This argument over whether he was on suicide watch or not is like, silly, because if he wasn’t on suicide watch he should have been ‘on watch,’” Giuliani told Fox News. “The guy was a high-risk prisoner, wasn’t he? He’s a guy where there are probably 50 very important people that have a motive to kill him. We don’t even know who they are. I’m not acknowledging that any of the people named. But it’s true there are some people who are in a lot of trouble because of Epstein.”
Attorney General William Barr stated on Monday, “I was appalled, and indeed the whole Department was, and frankly angry to learn of the MCC’s failure to adequately secure this prisoner. We are now learning of serious irregularities at this facility that are deeply concerning and demand a thorough investigation.”
He pledged a full investigation and that co-conspirators will be held accountable.
“We’ll get to the bottom of what happened and there will be accountability,” he added.
“Let me assure you that this case will continue on against anyone who was complicit with Epstein,” he said. “Any co-conspirators should not rest easy. The victims deserve justice and they will get it.”