NEW YORK (CBSMiami) – South Florida financier and accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein died overnight in his cell, according to law enforcement sources.
CBS News has confirmed the cause of death was an apparent suicide.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Prisons, Epstein was found unresponsive in his cell at around 6:30 a.m.
Staff at New York’s Metropolitan Correctional Center, where he was being held, tried to revive Epstein, but he was eventually taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, FBOP said.
FBOP said the FBI is investigating the incident.
In a statement, Epstein’s defense team said, “We are enormously sorry to learn of today’s news. No one should die in jail. We cannot confirm rumors as to his cause of death, and we trust that the United States Attorney’s Office and the United States Marshals will thoroughly investigate the circumstances of today’s tragedy.”
Attorney General William Barr said he was “appalled” to learn of Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide in jail.
Barr said in a statement Saturday, that Epstein’s death in federal custody “raises serious questions that must be answered.”
Epstein had been on suicide watch since July 23rd, and two days after that, on July 25th, he was found injured in his cell in what officials believed was an attempted suicide.
But the Associated Press reports Epstein was taken off of suicide watch before his death on Saturday.
The 66-year-old was arrested in July and was awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges after he was denied bond on July 18th.
He was accused of trafficking girls as young as 14 and he faced up to 45 years in prison.
On Friday, previously sealed legal documents revealed details about how Epstein’s alleged associates trafficked the girls.
Epstein also faced similar charges in 2008, when he pleaded guilty in Florida to two state charges of soliciting prostitution.
However, his guilty plea was part of a deal with prosecutors, including President Trump’s former secretary of labor, Alex Acosta.
Acosta resigned when new charges were announced for Epstein.
Epstein did spend 13 months in a Florida county jail and had to register as a sex offender, but he faced immunity from federal prosecution.
However, according to the Palm Beach Sheriff’s office, he did not register as a sex offender and while serving those 13 months, he was allowed to spend most days at his West Palm Beach office and was allowed to visit his Palm Beach mansion, despite restrictions on home visits.
Just this week, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis had asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to take over an investigation related to the Epstein matter.
Former Assistant U.S. Attorney David Weinstein, who worked under Acosta, but was not on the Epstein case, spoke to CBS4 about what Epstein’s death could mean for the sex trafficking case.
“It’ll have to be dismissed in the week or so, coming up by way of a motion by the prosecution,” said Weinstein. “He’s deceased and at this point, there’s no prosecution that can be undertaken against him.”
Weinstein admitted that Epstein’s alleged victims would “no longer be able to confront Epstein in public, in an open courtroom and say to his face what they’ve been wanting to say for so very long.”
Epstein was expected to stand trial on sex trafficking and conspiracy charges by at least June 2020.
As of now, officials have not announced what will be done with the case.
We will update this story throughout the day as we gather more information.
WATCH JEFFREY EPSTEIN’S SOUTH FLORIDA TIES & CRIME HISTORY: