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Jeffrey Epstein, accused sex trafficker, is dead by apparent suicide, found in his Manhattan jail cell

Jeffrey Epstein, the millionaire financier and accused sex trafficker, is dead by apparent suicide, according to three officials familiar with the matter.

The officials told NBC News that Epstein was found at 7:30 a.m. ET at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York, a federal jail in Manhattan, and that he apparently hanged himself.

Epstein, 66, who was being held on federal sex trafficking charges, was transported Saturday morning from the jail to a hospital in Lower Manhattan. Upon arrival, he was in cardiac arrest, people familiar with the matter say.

His death comes a little over two weeks after Epstein, had been found injured and in a fetal position in his cell. He was semiconscious with marks on his neck. Two sources told NBC News in July that Epstein was on suicide watch.

Epstein was arrested July 6 in Teterboro, New Jersey, as he returned from Paris on a private jet. He was charged with one count of sex trafficking conspiracy and one count of sex trafficking, and faced up to 45 years in prison if found guilty.

He had pleaded not guilty and was denied bail.

The indictment on his case showed that he sought out minors, some as young as 14, from at least 2002 through 2005 and paying them hundreds of dollars in cash for sex at either his Manhattan townhouse or his estate in Palm Beach, Florida, federal prosecutors revealed last month.

One alleged victim, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, now 36, said Jeffrey Epstein and his close associates had ordered her to have sex with several high-powered men when she was just 14 years old, according to a 2016 deposition released Friday.

Lisa Bloom, the lawyer for some of his alleged victims, said they “would have preferred he lived to face justice,” but that they will continue to proceed in suing his estate. “Victims deserve to be made whole for the lifelong damage he caused.”

Brad Edwards, another attorney representing some Epstein accusers, deemed his death “both unfortunate and predictable.”

“The fact that Jeffrey Epstein was able to commit the selfish act of taking his own life as his world of abuse, exploitation, and corruption unraveled is both unfortunate and predictable,” said Edwards in a statement.

“The victims deserved to see Epstein held accountable, and he owed it to everyone he hurt to accept responsibility for all of the pain he caused.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

NBC News

NBC News

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