Jeffrey Epstein broke several bones in his neck in his apparent suicide, a post-mortem has reportedly found.
The disgraced US financier, who was found dead in his jail cell while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges, broke the hyoid bone close to the Adam’s apple, the Washington Post said.
It is a bone not commonly broken when hanged, an expert told the paper, but can be more easily broken in older people.
The breakage can also occur when someone is strangled.
It comes as NBC reported the US flags on the multimillionaire’s private island were lowered to half-mast after his death on Saturday.
Captain Kelly Quinn, owner of Salty Dog Day Sails, who spotted the flags at half-mast, said: “It was a real moment out there and it just felt so heavy.
“I didn’t feel there was a realness of the end of Jeffrey Epstein until I saw that. That was a lot more literal.
“They’re doing this as a remembrance, but the irony is he’ll only be remembered for the deviance.”
NBC also reported that Epstein’s body has been claimed by an anonymous “associate”.
The convicted sex offender was found dead in the Metropolitan Correctional Facility in New York City.
It was previously reported by unidentified sources that he was found hanged.
Epstein, 66, had been on suicide watch but was later moved back to a regular cell.
His death came two weeks after he was reportedly found unconscious with neck injuries on the floor of his cell. His lawyers declined to comment at the time.
According to the Bureau of Prisons, Epstein had been in the federal jail’s special housing unit, a heavily secured part of the prison which separates high-profile inmates from the general population.
It was the same unit where drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was held until he was moved to the Supermax prison in Colorado.
Multiple news reports have suggested guards did not follow procedures to check on Epstein, and that he was left alone for as long as three hours.
The US attorney general William Barr has called for an investigation into his death.
A team at the jail started work on an “after action” review earlier this week, a process automatically triggered by events such as an inmate’s death and headed up by a prison bureau director from another region.
They are separate from FBI and US Department of Justice investigations.