Jeffrey Epstein’s cell was not regularly monitored the night he is believed to have killed himself, a source with knowledge of the accused sex trafficker’s time at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York said Sunday.
Epstein, 66, was in the special housing unit in a cell by himself when he was found dead early Saturday. He initially had a cellmate, but that person was removed for reasons unknown, the source said.
It’s protocol for inmates coming off suicide watch not to be placed alone in a cell, according to the source.
Protocol within the federal detention center’s Special Housing Unit is for guards to check on inmates every 30 minutes. If the inmates appear to be asleep, protocol states guards should make sure they’re OK, the source added.
If guards falsified documents saying they made rounds when they didn’t, there’s a chance for criminal prosecution, the source said.
The two guards that were at the Special Housing Unit were both on overtime, according to the source. One was working a mandatory overtime shift. The other was working his fifth overtime shift of the week.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons declined to comment Sunday.
No foul play is suspected in Epstein’s death, a federal official told CNN Saturday. The bureau’s release called it “an apparent suicide,” and said the FBI is investigating.
Authorities believe the multimillionaire financier hanged himself, a law enforcement source said.
The New York City medical examiner’s office hasn’t determined his manner of death.
Epstein had been jailed since early July, when he pleaded not guilty to charges by New York federal prosecutors after an indictment accused him of running a sex trafficking ring of underage girls, some as young as 14. He was set to go to trial next year.