NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - Disgraced multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein, who was accused of sexually abusing dozens of underage girls, died by suicide early Saturday morning inside his Manhattan jail cell. The FBI is opening an investigation into his death.
The U.S. Bureau of Prisons said Epstein was found unresponsive in his cell in the Metropolitan Correctional Center early Saturday.
Staff tried to revive him, and he was transported to a local hospital for treatment. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Epstein had been held in the jail's Special Housing Unit, a heavily secured part of the facility that separates high-profile inmates from the general population, but his death is likely to raise questions about how the Bureau of Prisons ensures the welfare of high-profile inmates.
Attorney General William Barr said he was "appalled" by the news.
Before he took his own life, Epstein has been taken off suicide watch, according to a person familiar with the matter who spoke to The Associated Press. The person wasn't authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
The 66-year-old was arrested July 6 and had pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking charges in a case that has brought down a Cabinet secretary and launched fresh investigations into how authorities dealt with Epstein over the years.
Epstein was charged in federal court in Manhattan with recruiting and abusing dozens of underage girls in New York and Florida in the early 2000s.
His lawyers say the charges should never have been brought because Epstein was protected by an agreement he reached with federal prosecutors in Florida a dozen years ago. U.S. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta resigned last month after coming under fire for overseeing that deal when he was U.S. attorney in Miami.
A little over two weeks, Epstein was found on the floor of his jail cell with bruises on his neck. It was not clear whether those injuries were self-inflicted or from an assault.
The Associated Press contributed to this report