A source familiar with the matter told the Associated Press that Metropolitan Correctional Center's Special Housing Unit was staffed with a single guard working a fifth straight day of overtime and another who was working mandatory overtime.
The Justice Department was told Epstein would be monitored by a guard every half-hour and would be housed with a cellmate, an official with knowledge of the investigation told the AP. The cellmate recently had been transferred, allowing Epstein to be housed alone, a violation of jail protocol, officials told The New York Times.
Former jail warden Cameron Lindsay also said on Sunday that officials made a series of mistakes in Epstein's case. He said the warden at MCC shouldn't have taken him off suicide watch, even if the prison's chief psychologist had recommended doing so.
"A psychologist is going to think one way, but a warden needs to think a different way," he said, cited by the New York Times. "You have to take the conservative, safe route and keep an individual like this on suicide watch."
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner on Sunday performed an autopsy, but the results, including the exact cause of death, have not yet been released.
"Today, a medical examiner performed the autopsy of Jeffrey Epstein," Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Barbara Sampson said. "The ME's determination is pending further information at this time. At the request of those representing the decedent, and with the awareness of the federal prosecutor, I allowed a private pathologist (Dr. Michael Baden) to observe the autopsy examination.”
Epstein’s apparent suicide has generated numerous conspiracy theories, ranging from Epstein receiving assistance in killing himself to being outright murdered. Several US politicians have already demanded that a thorough investigation into the circumstances that led to his demise be launched.
Jeffrey Epstein was accused of organising the sex trafficking of underage girls for wealthy and famous clients and of assaulting over 30 girls himself. Epstein pleaded not guilty to the charges, for which he would have faced up to 45 years in prison if convicted.