(NBC News) — Jeffrey Epstein, the millionaire financier who is being held on federal sex trafficking charges, was found injured and in a fetal position in his cell at a New York City jail, sources close to the investigation told NBC News on Wednesday night.
Epstein, 66, was found semi-conscious with marks on his neck in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan some time in the last two days, the sources said. Epstein is on suicide watch, two sources said.
Two sources told NBC News that Epstein may have tried to hang himself, while a third source cautioned that the injuries weren’t serious, questioning whether Epstein might have staged an attack or a suicide attempt to get a transfer to another facility.
Another source said that an assault hadn’t been ruled out and that another inmate, identified by sources as Nicholas Tartaglione, had been questioned.
Tartaglione, 49, is a former police officer in Briarcliff Manor, New York, who was arrested in December 2016 and accused of killing four men in an alleged cocaine distribution conspiracy, then burying their bodies in his yard in Otisville, according to court records. He was charged with drug conspiracy and four counts of murder and is awaiting trial.
Sources said Tartaglione claimed not to have seen anything and not to have touched Epstein.
An attorney for Tartaglione denied that his client attacked Epstein, saying that Tartaglione and Epstein got along well and that Epstein appeared to be fine on Wednesday.
Attorneys for Epstein didn’t immediately return calls for comment. A spokesperson for the Bureau of Prisons didn’t return calls, and spokesmen for the U.S. Marshals and U.S. attorney’s office declined to comment.
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