New York, NY – A well-respected forensic pathologist who observed Jeffrey Epstein’s autopsy in August said that the murdered billionaire’s body showed more signs of homicide than suicide despite the medical examiner’s ruling.
Former New York City Medical Examiner Dr. Michael Baden told FOX News that he was hired by Epstein’s brother to observe the autopsy after the death in custody.
Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) correctional officers found the 66-year-old Tier 3 sex offender hanging in his cell at around 6:30 a.m. on Aug. 10, according to ABC News.
Epstein was transported to New York Downtown Hospital in cardiac arrest before he was declared dead.
The billionaire had been jailed while facing charges for sexually abusing and trafficking children.
Epstein had been placed on a suicide watch after authorities believed he tried to kill himself on July 23, shortly after he was denied bail, The New York Times reported.
He was taken off suicide watch just six days later and returned to the cell he shared with another prisoner in 9 South, a special housing unit (SHU) inside the MCC.
But his roommate was removed from his cell a short time later.
Despite the fact that it is protocol to put a prisoner who has just been taken off suicide watch in a cell with another prisoner, Epstein didn’t get a new roommate before he allegedly killed himself, The New York Times reported.
Two prison officials have said that the staff members on duty the night Epstein tried to kill himself were supposed to be checking on him every 30 minutes, but had not looked in on him for three hours before he was found hanging.
Officials said that the employees had falsely recorded checks every 30 minutes in the logbook.
Three different officials told The New York Times that both employees had been asleep some, or all, of the three-hour period that preceded them finding Epstein hanging from his upper bunk by a bedsheet.
Baden said that the combination of security failures was something that he had never seen in 50 years of investigating and called the scenario “extremely unlikely.”
New York City Chief Medical Examiner Barbara Sampson completed Epstein’s autopsy but initially left the cause of death as “pending,” The Washington Post reported.
Sampson later officially ruled the death a suicide.
Baden told FOX News that Epstein had two fractures on the left and right sides of his larynx, specifically the thyroid cartilage or Adam’s apple, as well as one fracture on the left hyoid bone above the Adam’s apple.
“Those three fractures are extremely unusual in suicidal hangings and could occur much more commonly in homicidal strangulation,” the former medical examiner said. “I’ve not seen in 50 years where that occurred in a suicidal hanging case.”
The famous forensic pathologist has examined more than 20,000 bodies during his career, and said too many questions remained to call Epstein’s death a suicide.
“I think that the evidence points toward homicide rather than suicide because there are multiple, three fractures in the hyoid bone thyroid cartilage that are very unusual for suicide and more indicative of strangulation, homicidal strangulation,” Baden told FOX News.
The doctor said “hanging does not cause these broken bones, and homicide does.”
He stopped short of blatantly calling the medical examiner’s ruling wrong.
“It appears that this could have been a mistake,” Baden said. “There’s evidence here of homicide that should be investigated, to see if it is or isn’t homicide.”
He said Epstein’s family feels like they’re getting the runaround.
In one example, Baden told FOX News that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) hasn’t told the family whose DNA was found on the bedsheets Epstein allegedly hung himself with.
“Whoever it is would have their DNA all over the ligature,” he said. “We don’t have those results yet.”
The doctor said testing should have only taken a few days but the family had been unable to find out anything about the investigation into Epstein’s death in a federal prison.
“It doesn’t give you the answer," he said. "It's not a typical hanging case.”
Baden told FOX News Epstein’s brother was concerned that if Epstein was murdered, other people who have information may also be in danger.