Mayor Bill de Blasio again raised the specter of conspiracy surrounding the death of Jeffrey Epstein, saying Thursday that “something doesn’t fit,” even after the city’s own medical examiner found the death was a suicide.
De Blasio first said in August he thought something was amiss regarding the billionaire’s suicide in federal jail in Manhattan, where he was being held on multiple charges of sexual abuse and sex trafficking. This week, a pathologist hired by Epstein’s brother disputed findings of an autopsy by the city’s medical examiner that the death was a suicide.
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The pathologist, Dr. Michael Baden, claimed that evidence suggested Epstein may have been strangled in prison. Baden is a Fox News contributor and former New York City medical examiner with his own colorful history, who was fired by Mayor Ed Koch after a series of complaints.
Asked about the claim Thursday, de Blasio did not rush to back up his chief medical examiner, Dr. Barbara Sampson.
“Something doesn’t fit here. It just doesn’t make sense that the highest profile prisoner in America, you know, someone forgot to guard him,” he told reporters during an unrelated press conference in Queens.
“I want to understand, I think everyone wants to understand, what really happened. I don’t know what the nature of the death was,” the mayor continued. “I just know it should never have happened, and we still don’t have good answers.”
Epstein was found dead in his jail cell at the federal Metropolitan Correctional Center in August while awaiting trial as charges against him mounted. The autopsy found that Epstein hanged himself.
The medical examiner’s office has stood behind its findings.
“I stand firmly behind our determination of the cause and manner of death in this case,” Sampson told the New York Times on Wednesday.
The medical examiner’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the mayor’s remarks.
Madina Touré contributed to this report.