At around 6:30 Saturday morning, billionaire Jeffrey Epstein was found unconscious in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center.
Prison officials said the 66-year-old, who was accused of abusing dozens of underage girls, died of an apparent suicide.
A Federal Bureau of Prisons statement said, “Life-saving measures were initiated immediately by responding staff.”
Those efforts were unsuccessful and Epstein was pronounced dead at a local hospital. The medical examiner took custody of his body. He had been taken off suicide watch before he killed himself.
Epstein was being held at MCC awaiting trial on federal sex trafficking and conspiracy charges, he was facing up to 45 years behind bars.
The day before his death, thousands of pages of documents related to a 2015 defamation case were ordered released by a federal court, and contained many salacious details.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons will have to explain how Epstein managed to kill himself to the Department of Justice.
Attorney General William Barr said he was “appalled” that Epstein died in federal custody, adding that it "raises serious questions that need to be answered."
In an attempt to accomplish that, the inspector general and Federal Bureau of Investigations will conduct separate inquiries into the circumstances surrounding Epstein's death.
Epstein was being held in a special housing unit at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Lower Manhattan that keeps inmates away from the general population. The heavily secured part of the facility is for high-profile inmates.
Before his legal troubles, Epstein led a life of luxury and socialized with princes and presidents.
While the case against Epstein dies with him, others will continue, including an investigation into how authorities handled his case initially when similar charges were brought against him in Florida more than a decade ago.