Since his brother was found dead in a New York City federal jail in August, Mark Epstein has been worried that his life, and the lives of other people, may be in danger because federal authorities, believing that Epstein committed suicide, have not fully investigated what happened to his brother, sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.
Now a private forensic pathologist hired by Mark Epstein to oversee his brother’s autopsy bolsters what conspiracy theorists have suggested for months: that the evidence does not support the finding that Jeffrey Epstein killed himself.
Dr. Michael Baden, one of the world’s leading forensic pathologists, viewed Jeffrey Epstein’s body and was present at the autopsy, which was held the day after Epstein was found dead at the notorious Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Manhattan.
In an interview with the Miami Herald, Baden described Epstein’s jail cell, the ligature he allegedly used to hang himself, and his own suspicions that federal authorities have not conducted a thorough probe into Epstein’s cause and manner of death.
“They rushed the body out of the jail, which they shouldn’t do because that destroys the evidence,” Baden told the Herald.
“The brother doesn’t think it was suicide — he is concerned it might be murder. It’s 80 days now and if, in fact , it is a homicide other people might be in jeopardy,” Baden said.
Baden, in an interview first aired on Fox & Friends Wednesday, announced his own findings: that Epstein, who was found dead in his Manhattan jail cell on Aug. 10, had two fractures on the left and right sides of his larynx.
He told the Herald that it is rare for any bones to be broken in a hanging, let alone for multiple bones to be fractured.
“Those fractures are extremely unusual in suicidal hangings and could occur much more commonly in homicidal strangulation,” said Baden, who added that there were hemorrhages in Epstein’s eyes that are also more common in strangulation than in hangings.
Baden’s opinion contradicted New York City Medical Examiner Barbara Sampson, who ruled Epstein’s cause of death to be a suicide by hanging.
He also explained that the pathologist who actually conducted the autopsy, Dr. Kristin Roman, also had trouble determining that Epstein hanged himself, and ruled that he manner of death was “pending.”
“The autopsy did not support suicide,” Baden said. “That’s what she put down. Then Dr. Sampson changed it a week later to manner of death to suicide. The brother has been trying to find out why that changed…what was the evidence?”
Baden, 85, who once led the New York City Medical Examiner’s office, is one of the nation’s best-known forensic pathologists, having participated in some of the country’s most famous death investigations, including the congressional committee that probed the death of John F. Kennedy.
Most recently, he conducted one of the private autopsies of Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old who was fatally shot by police in Ferguson, Missouri. Baden also hosted the HBO series “Autopsy.”
The death of Epstein, 66, launched a series of conspiracy theories, mostly centered on whether Epstein was murdered to keep him from revealing information about the rich and powerful men in his social circle who may have been involved in crimes, including sex trafficking.
Sampson, however, ruled out foul play, but her findings did little to quell speculation.
The New York City Medical Examiner’s Office said it would shortly release a statement on the issues Baden had raised.
Following the autopsy, it was revealed there were major security lapses at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, and two prison officers were suspended and the warden was reassigned.
A federal investigation, ordered by U.S. Attorney General William Barr, is ongoing.
Epstein was arrested in July, more than 10 years after the top federal prosecutor in South Florida, Alexander Acosta, signed off on a controversial non-prosecution agreement despite having nearly three dozen underage victims who said they were sexually abused by the multimillionaire, many of them at his waterfront estate in Palm Beach. He also had homes in Manhattan, the Virgin Islands, Paris and New Mexico.
Epstein was found dead in his Manhattan jail cell a month after his arrest.
Interest in the long-dormant case was rekindled last November when the Miami Herald published Perversion of Justice, a series of stories examining the machinations behind the non-prosecution agreement. Four of Epstein’s victims were interviewed as part of the series, and described their frustration with the disposal of the federal case.
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