NBC News has quoted several unnamed sources as saying that two guards tasked with watching the late accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein may have been sleeping when he apparently committed suicide in a New York City jail cell.
Investigators have yet to reach conclusions on the matter as they are looking into whether the guards might have fallen asleep, according to the sources.
They claimed that one of the guards was reportedly working overtime and was not a full-fledged corrections officer.
The sources also argued that the guards are suspected of falsifying log entries to show they were checking Epstein in his cell every 30 minutes, when they actually were not. A surveillance video reviewed after Epstein’s death ostensibly showed guards never made some of the checks noted in the log.
Separately, an unnamed source told CBS News that Epstein allegedly died one to two hours before his body was found.
This comes after US Justice Department announced on Monday that the two corrections officers have been placed on administrative leave, with the prison's warden “temporarily reassigned” amid the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)’s ongoing probe into Epstein’s apparent suicide.
The department promised to take additional action involving prison personnel if “the circumstances warrant” it.
In a separate development on Monday, the FBI seized at least two computer desktops and an Apple computer at Epstein’s mansion located on a private island in the Caribbean.
The seizure comes as the FBI is searching for sex toys and other evidence to confirm numerous claims that Epstein sexually abused underage girls, the New York Post cited unnamed sources as saying.
Also on Monday, US Attorney General William Barr said that the Department of Justice learned of “serious irregularities” at the Metropolitan Correctional Centre in New York where Epstein apparently killed himself last week.
US President Donald Trump told reporters that he is “absolutely” demanding a full-blown investigation into Epstein’s death, which New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said “boggles the imagination.”
On 10 August, the 66-year-old former financier committed suicide at the prison where he had been held ahead of his pending trial on charges of running a sex trafficking ring involving minors. If convicted, Epstein could have faced up to 45 years behind bars.