An autopsy performed on Jeffrey Epstein showed that he "sustained multiple breaks in his neck bones," according to the The Washington Post on Wednesday. People familiar with the autopsy told the newspaper that the broken bones included the hyoid bone, which is near the Adam's apple.
That sort of break can occur when a person hangs themselves or dies of strangulation, forensics experts told the Post.
Epstein, 66, was found dead by himself in a cell in the special housing unit of the federal Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York on Saturday. The financier had been in jail since early July awaiting trial on federal charges accusing him of operating a sex trafficking ring from 2002 to 2005 at his Manhattan mansion and his Palm Beach estate in which he paid girls as young as 14 for sex. He pleaded not guilty.
The New York Times reported Tuesday that two prison staff members who'd been guarding the unit where Epstein died by apparent suicide failed to check on him that night for about three hours. It's unknown what the staff members were doing during that time.
One of the two guards who would have been responsible to monitor Epstein was not currently a detention guard but was temporarily reassigned to that post, according to someone briefed on the matter. The unidentified male guard had previously been trained as a corrections officer but had moved to another position. The second staff member on Epstein duty, a woman, was reportedly a fully trained guard.
Epstein had previously been placed on suicide watch last month after an incident in the jail, but after he was given daily psychological assessments, he was reportedly taken off suicide watch in late July and went back to the facility's special housing unit, a section that is more restricted than general population. He initially had a cellmate but that person was removed for unknown reasons, a source with knowledge of Epstein's time at the jail told CNN. The source also said it's protocol for detainees coming off suicide watch not to be placed alone in a cell.
The warden of the MCC, Laine N'Diaye, was moved temporarily as the FBI and Justice Department's inspector general investigate the circumstances of Epstein's death. She will be moved to a Bureau of Prisons regional office and will be replaced by James Petrucci, the warden of the federal prison in Otisville, New York.
Additionally, The U.S. Bureau of Prisons also placed two Metropolitan Correctional Center staffers on leave, pending an investigation.