Manhattan, NY – Jail security footage from outside Jeffrey Epstein’s cell from the day he attempted suicide have disappeared.
On Wednesday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Swergold revealed that the footage is nowhere to be found – despite requests from his cellmate’s attorney that the videos be retained, the New York Daily News reported.
Those requests were made two days after Epstein’s unsuccessful suicide attempt on July 23.
It is unclear whether the cameras outside the cell were not working at the time of the incident, or whether the footage was erased, The Journal News reported.
“It is our understanding…that the video no longer exists,” Swergold admitted to U.S. District Court Judge Kenneth Karas. “It was not preserved.”
Karas told prosecutors to dig into what happened to the video.
Bruce Barket, the attorney for Epstein’s former cellmate, Nicholas Tartaglione, said he was shocked to discover that jail officials hadn’t safeguarded the footage, especially after he filed formal paperwork requesting that they do so, The Journal News reported.
Tartaglione, who is facing a possible death sentence in connection with a drug-related quadruple homicide, previously claimed that he helped to save Epstein’s life after he found him unconscious in their cell in the wake of the suicide attempt, the New York Daily News reported at the time.
Tartaglione, a former Briarcliff Manor police officer, had shared a cell with the billionaire for about two weeks prior to the suicide attempt.
“Nick acted appropriately and admirably,” Barket told the New York Daily News.
In the event the accused murderer is convicted, Tartaglione’s defense team wanted to have access to the video to argue that he does not deserve the death penalty.