Federal officials say they are unable able to locate surveillance video footage of Jeffrey Epstein‘s first suicide attempt in July and said that it was likely destroyed. The disgraced billionaire and pedophile tried to hang himself in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, which he was sharing with a former police officer who is facing charges of a quadruple homicide.
The lawyers for the officer requested the video two days later, claiming it showed their client, Nick Tartaglione, saving Epstein’s life. During a court hearing on Wednesday (December 18), federal officials admitted that they do not have the footage. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Swergold told U.S. District Judge Kenneth Karas that the footage was destroyed.
“I don’t know the details of how it was lost or destroyed, or why it wasn’t retained when it should have been,” Tartaglione’s attorney Bruce Barket told the New York Post. “We want to be sure that all the evidence is preserved to show that Nick behaved appropriately and even admirably that evening.”
Epstein denied that he tried to take his own life and told his lawyers that Tartaglione was responsible for inflicting the injuries around his neck. His story appeared to convince prison officials, and they took him off of suicide watch a few weeks later. Tartaglione’s lawyers have denied the claims and said the video footage would have shown their client coming to Epstein’s aid.
On August 10, Epstein was found dead in his cell and officials ruled his death a suicide by hanging. The correctional officers who were on duty that night are facing criminal charges for failing to conduct their rounds and falsifying records related to their duties.