** UPDATE **
Official ruling says Epstein’s death was a suicide by hanging
By Dakin Andone and Jason Hanna, Updated 5:57 PM ET, Fri August 16, 2019
CNN – Jeffrey Epstein’s cause of death was suicide by hanging, the New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said Friday.
The determination came almost a week after the multimillionaire was found in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, where the 66-year-old was awaiting trial on federal charges accusing him of sexually abusing underage girls and running a sex trafficking ring. He had pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The autopsy on Epstein’s body was performed Sunday, the Office of Chief Medical Examiner said in a statement at the time, but its findings were pending further information.
A private pathologist also observed the autopsy, the statement said, calling it “routine practice.”
The Washington Post reported Wednesday that the autopsy showed Epstein “sustained multiple breaks in his neck bones.”
Both the FBI and the Justice Department’s Inspector General are investigating the circumstances around the accused sex trafficker’s death … Read more.
What A Tiny Bone Tells Us About Epstein’s Death
Morgan Hines, Aug 15, 2019
USA TODAY – The investigation into disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein’s death could hinge on a minute bone in his neck that in the past has shed light on whether a cause of death is a suicide or a murder.
Epstein’s autopsy reportedly showed multiple broken neck bones, the Washington Post wrote Thursday, citing anonymous sources.
But the curiosity surrounds one of the broken bones: The hyoid.
Though the bone is small, it’s been critical in several high-profile cases.
The reason: The hyoid can break when a person dies by hanging, particularly when a person is older. But it can also provide tell-tale clues that a person was strangled.
The official cause of Epstein’s death is still pending.
Epstein, 66, was found early Saturday in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan.
He had a bedsheet around his neck. According to the New York Post, he had tied the bedsheet to the bunk and leaned toward the floor to kill himself.
What’s a hyoid?
The hyoid is a bone instrumental in tongue movement, swallowing, chewing and other functions. During respiration, the hyoid is what keeps the airway open.
In men, it’s located near the Adam’s apple. It anchors the larynx during vocal and respiratory movement, and its structure consists of a body and two pairs of horns, one larger and one smaller.
The hyoid bone is not the Adam’s apple itself. The Adam’s apple is outwardly protruding thyroid cartilage surrounding the larynx. Instead, the hyoid is located just above the lump-like area.
The hyoid in murder cases:
This isn’t the first time the hyoid has been used to help determine a cause of death.
A fractured hyoid is present in approximately one-third of strangulation homicides, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information.
A broken hyoid is often used in evidence to determine whether a victim was strangled … Read more.