Jeffrey Epstein died of suicide by hanging, a medical examiner in New York has confirmed.
The disgraced financier, 66, was found dead in his prison cell on 10 August.
His death sparked outrage as he was facing a 45 year sentence if convicted of multiple counts of sexually abusing underage girls.
He had been on suicide watch at the prison, having been found with marks around his neck on 23 July. But sources report he was taken off watch after a week and put back into the high-security housing unit where he was less closely monitored.
Attorney General William Barr, who ordered an investigation after the death, said officials had uncovered “serious irregularities” at the prison.
The FBI and the Justice Department are investigating.
US media reports say that the two staff members who were supposed to be checking Epstein every 30 minutes fell asleep, and then falsified the log to cover up their mistake – something which may constitute a federal crime.
They have been suspended.
Prison officials told The New York Times that Epstein had not been checked on for three hours before he was found.
One of two guards was no longer a correctional officer, having being moved to a non-guarding role in the prison, and had agreed to take on work as a guard as overtime, according to the newspaper.
Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org in the UK. In the US, call the Samaritans branch in your area or 1 (800) 273-TALK.