Jeffrey Epstein, who died last weekend after being found unconscious in his New York jail cell, suffered multiple breaks to his neck bones, including the hyoid bone near the Adam's apple that can occur in hanging and strangulation, according to media reports.
The office of New York City’s chief medical examiner, Barbara Sampson, completed an autopsy of the disgraced financier's body Sunday but listed the cause of his death as pending.
The cause of the death has not been announced, but a person familiar with operations at the detention facility said Epstein, who was awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges, was discovered in his cell with a bedsheet around his neck, according to The Associated Press.
The Washington Post first reported that the autopsy found that Epstein suffered multiple breaks in his neck bones, including the hyoid.
Asked about the neck injuries, Sampson said in a statement that no single factor in an autopsy can provide a conclusive answer about what happened, the Post reported.
“In all forensic investigations, all information must be synthesized to determine the cause and manner of death. Everything must be consistent; no single finding can be evaluated in a vacuum,” the statement said.
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NBC News also reported that the autopsy found a bone break in Epstein's neck.
NBC News medical correspondent John Torres noted that hyoid fractures are more likely for older adults, and studies show they occur in roughly 25% of hanging deaths and 35% of strangulation deaths.
The FBI and the Justice Department's inspector general are investigating the circumstances around Epstein's death. He was found unresponsive in his cell at the high-security detention center in Manhattan on Saturday and was pronounced dead at a New York hospital.
U.S. Attorney General William Barr said he was "appalled" over Epstein's "apparent suicide" while under guard by the Bureau of Prisons his department oversees.
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The lack of definitive information regarding the high-profile death and reports that guards did not check on Epstein for several hours before he was found spurred numerous conspiracy theories.
President Donald Trump contributed to the speculation by retweeting one theory that Epstein – who counted numerous wealthy and politically powerful men among his friends – might have been killed to keep him from revealing the secrets of others.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Jeffrey Epstein: Autopsy finds broken neck bones, reports say