A New York City medical examiner has completed an autopsy on the body of Jeffrey Epstein, the politically connected, multimillionaire sex trafficker who died on Saturday. Authorities and media reports had declared Epstein’s death to be the result of suicide, with reports saying that the 66-year-old former friend of Donald Trump was found “hanging in his cell,” according to The Washington Post. But it now appears that Medical Examiner Barbara Sampson is not so sure.
Sampson issued a statement on Sunday, posted via Twitter by Daily Beast reporter Pervaiz Shallwani. In the statement, Sampson said that her “determination is pending further information at this time.” But Sampson’s statement did not specify exactly what type of “further information” the Medical Examiner’s Office would require in order to make a ruling of Epstein’s cause of death.
Sampson also said that “those representing the decedent,” had hired celebrity pathologist Michael Baden to observe the medical examiner’s autopsy, as well as to perform his own autopsy on Epstein’s body, according to a Daily Beast report.
Baden has been involved in numerous high-profile cases, including the police killings of Eric Garner in New York City, and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, according to an NBC News report. Baden also served as an expert witness in the 1995 double murder trial of O.J. Simpson and investigated the drug overdose death of comedian John Belushi. In addition, Baden hosted the HBO television documentary series Autopsy.
But as The Daily Beast noted, Sampson’s statement gave no indication as to who was representing “the decedent,” meaning Epstein. Nor did the medical examiner reveal whether Epstein’s body had been released or who would claim the body. In theory, representatives of Epstein’s estate could sue the federal Metropolitan Correctional Center for wrongful death if the verdict is that Epstein died from suicide or foul play. But so far, the identities of those representatives remain as mysterious as the circumstances surrounding Epstein’s death.
While the correctional facility is believed by experts to be almost completely covered by surveillance video cameras, it remains a possibility that no camera recorded Epstein’s death, according to a report via Twitter by Fox News reporter Jacqui Heinrich. “Not every cell has cameras due to privacy concerns for inmates awaiting trial,” Heinrich wrote.
Nonetheless, former New York City prosecutor Paul Callan said on Sunday that the absence of a video capturing Epstein’s death would be “very curious,” according to a Raw Story report.
“There won’t be any faith or credibility given to [the Department of Justice] and the Federal Bureau Prisons if there’s not even that video,” another former prosecutor, Elie Honig, remarked, as quoted by Raw Story.