Guards assigned to Jeffrey Epstein's unit placed on administrative leave, jail gets new temporary warden

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Tuesday, August 13, 2019
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Dave Evans has more on the death investigation of financier Jeffrey Epstein.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Two staff members assigned to Jeffery Epstein's unit have been placed on administrative leave after he hanged himself in his cell, and the federal jail housing him was assigned a new temporary warden.

After the multi-millionaire financier died at Manhattan's Metropolitan Correctional Center Saturday, several investigations have launched and conspiracy theories have swirled surrounding the circumstances of his life and death.

The FBI opened an investigation into 66-year-old Epstein's death, resulting in Attorney General William Barr assigning a temporary new warden to MCC.

The Bureau of Prisons also placed two MCC staff assigned to Mr. Epstein's unit on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigations. One of the two guards the night he hanged himself wasn't a regular correctional officer, people familiar with the detention center told the Associated Press.

"I was appalled, and indeed the whole department was, and frankly angry to learn of the MCC's failure to adequately secure this prisoner," Barr said at a police conference in New Orleans. "We are now learning of serious irregularities at this facility that are deeply concerning and demand a thorough investigation. The FBI and the office of inspector general are doing just that."

RELATED: 7 On Your Side Investigates chronic staffing shortages at facility housing Jeffrey Epstein

Jeffrey Epstein used a bedsheet to hang himself in his jail cell, law enforcement sources confirmed ABC News.

The New York-based task force that arrested Epstein July 6 also went to his USVI compound Monday to find evidence of others who may have been involved in his alleged sex trafficking, law enforcement sources said.

They are specifically interested in any evidence that would link to Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein's alleged "recruiter," including documents, photographs or computer records.

Even though this raid is 14 years after the fact, there is a working belief among task force members that there are still potentially incriminating items there.

The investigators believe Epstein's death takes deadline pressure off the criminal case and gives them more time to find evidence that bolsters victims accounts and that can draw a picture of Epstein's inner circle.

RELATED: Alleged victims, politicians react to Jeffrey Epstein's suicide

His surviving brother is conducting his own investigation into Jeffrey Epstein's suicide, sources familiar with the matter told ABC News.

Mark Epstein's private inquiry is why Dr. Michael Baden observed the autopsy, the sources said.

In addition to the cause and manner of his brother's death by suicide, the sources said the investigation by Mark Epstein also seeks to know the circumstances.

The Associated Press and ABC News contributed to this story.


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