A forensic pathologist hired by the brother of Jeffrey Epstein claimed the deceased money manager’s body showed evidence of strangulation and said homicide, not suicide, was the most likely cause of death.
Dr. Michael Baden, a former New York City medical examiner and current Fox News contributor, made the explosive assertion on “Fox and Friends” Wednesday morning. Epstein’s brother hired Baden to observe the autopsy conducted by New York City medical examiner Barbara Sampson, who concluded that Epstein died by suicide.
“I think that the evidence points to homicide rather than suicide,” Baden said, adding that he had “not seen in 50 years” a suicide case that included injuries like Epstein’s.
Fractures in Epstein’s neck were “extremely unusual in suicidal hangings and could occur much more commonly in homicidal strangulation,” Baden said. Hemorrhages found around Epstein’s eyes also were more common in homicidal strangulation, he said.
Still, Baden said he couldn’t disprove the official cause of death.
Epstein, 66, was found unresponsive in his federal prison cell Aug. 10 and rushed to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He had been awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges stemming from accusations made by dozens of women.
Epstein’s neck injuries have been the subject of heavy scrutiny, and forensic experts say that such breaks can occur in people who hang themselves, particularly if they are older, The Washington Post reported shortly after Epstein’s death.
Baden said Epstein’s brother wants authorities to release DNA evidence collected from under Epstein’s fingernails and from the ligatures used.
The multimillionaire’s sudden death prompted multiple investigations, which found that prison officials’ procedural failures were largely to blame. Cameras near Epstein’s cell were not functioning properly at the time of his death, and officers neglected to check on him as frequently as required.
After serving an extremely lenient sentence for soliciting sex from a minor a decade ago, Epstein was arrested in July for similar offenses that allegedly took place at his properties in New York, New Mexico, Florida and the U.S. Virgin Islands.