Jeffrey Epstein's autopsy showed he died by suicide, the medical examiner says

FILE PHOTO: U.S. financier Jeffrey Epstein appears in a photograph taken for the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services' sex offender registry March 28, 2017 and obtained by Reuters July 10, 2019.  New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services/Handout/File Photo via REUTERSFILE PHOTO: Jeffrey Epstein appears in a photo taken for the NY Division of Criminal Justice Services' sex offender registryReuters

  • Jeffrey Epstein died by suicide, New York City's chief medical examiner ruled Friday.
  • The news comes nearly a week after Epstein was found dead in his Manhattan jail cell. He had faced federal charges of sex trafficking of minors and conspiracy.
  • The medical examiner had previously stopped short of ruling on a cause of death, determining only that Epstein had broken multiple bones in his neck. The chief said Friday that Epstein hanged himself from the bunk in his cell.
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New York City's chief medical examiner ruled Friday that the financier and accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein died by suicide, The New York Times reported.

The news comes nearly a week after Epstein was found dead in his Manhattan jail cell. He had faced federal charges of sex trafficking of minors and conspiracy.

Previously, officials had referred to Epstein's death as an "apparent suicide" and the autopsy report had stopped short of formally announcing the cause of death, but determined that Epstein had multiple broken bones in his neck.

The broken bones had fueled speculation that Epstein's death was caused by foul play, but medical experts had warned against such theories, saying the injuries were consistent with hanging.

Read more: Despite the conspiracy theories, broken bones in Epstein's neck aren't proof he was murdered, medical experts say

Officials said Epstein tied a bedsheet to the top bunk in his cell, then leaned forward forcefully enough to break the neck bones, according to The Times.

Epstein had been arrested in July and charged with one count of sex trafficking and one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking. Federal prosecutors alleged he abused dozens of girls as young as 14 over a period of years. Epstein pleaded not guilty.

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or has had thoughts of harming themselves or taking their own life, get help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) provides 24/7, free, confidential support for people in distress, as well as best practices for professionals and resources to aid in prevention and crisis situations.

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