A forensic pathologist hired by Jeffrey Epstein’s brother said on Wednesday that evidence suggested that Mr. Epstein did not die by suicide, but may have been strangled.
The New York City medical examiner’s office concluded Mr. Epstein hanged himself in his jail cell while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
But the private pathologist, Dr. Michael Baden, said on the morning TV show “Fox & Friends” that Mr. Epstein, 66, experienced a number of injuries — among them a broken hyoid bone — that “are extremely unusual in suicidal hangings and could occur much more commonly in homicidal strangulation.”
“I think that the evidence points to homicide rather than suicide,” said Dr. Baden, who observed the autopsy done by city officials.
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Dr. Baden, a former New York City medical examiner and a Fox News contributor, added, “I’ve not seen in 50 years where that occurred in a suicidal hanging case.”
The findings by Dr. Baden were strongly disputed by the city’s chief medical examiner, Dr. Barbara Sampson, who previously ruled that Mr. Epstein’s death on Aug. 10 in the Metropolitan Correctional Center was a suicide.
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“I stand firmly behind our determination of the cause and manner of death in this case,” Dr. Sampson said. She added: “In general, fractures of the hyoid bone and the cartilage can be seen in suicides and homicides.”
Dr. Sampson also dismissed Dr. Baden’s contention that the circumstances around Mr. Epstein’s death suggested other people may have been involved. She said her office had done a “complete investigation,” taking into consideration information gathered by law enforcement in making the determination.
“No one finding can be taken in isolation,” she said.