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Jeffrey Epstein, accused of operating sex trafficking ring, is dead

How could this happen?

Neil Rasmus/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted pedophile who was arrested last month for allegedly operating an underage sex trafficking ring and raping dozens of underage girls, has reportedly committed suicide.

ABC News and the New York Post independently confirmed Epstein's death Saturday morning.

Although the exact circumstances of Epstein's death are not yet known, ABC News reported that Epstein committed suicide sometime Friday night. Meanwhile, the Post reported that officials wheeled a man on a gurney out of the Manhattan Correctional Center early Saturday morning.

The New York Times reported that Epstein hung himself and his body was discovered inside his jail cell early Saturday morning.

Epstein's death comes just two weeks after jail officials reportedly placed him on continuous suicide watch after he was found unresponsive in his jail cell with self-inflicted marks on his neck. It was later reported on Saturday that Epstein had been taken off suicide watch.

Epstein was arrested on July 6 at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey upon arriving from Paris on a private jet. He had pleaded not guilty and was denied bail because officials considered him a flight risk.

Almost immediately as the news broke, questions arose of how and why jail officials did not prevent Epstein from further harming himself since inmate suicides are considered preventable deaths.

Lisa Bloom, a lawyer representing some of Epstein's victims, said her clients would continue with civil cases against Epstein's estate.

Brad Edwards, another lawyer representing Epstein accusers, called Epstein's death "unfortunate and predictable" in a statement, according to NBC News.

"The fact that Jeffrey Epstein was able to commit the selfish act of taking his own life as his world of abuse, exploitation, and corruption unraveled is both unfortunate and predictable," Edwards said. "The victims deserved to see Epstein held accountable, and he owed it to everyone he hurt to accept responsibility for all of the pain he caused."

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