While questions abound over the “apparent suicide” of financier Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted sex offender’s private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands became the focal point of scrutiny and curiosity.
A team of FBI agents landed on Little St. James Island to conduct a search of Epstein’s mansion, shortly after his death.
The agents are hoping to find clues in the investigation of the disgraced financier’s life and the happenings on the island that the locals have nicknamed “Pedophile Island,” “Orgy Island,” and “Island of Sin,” according to Fox News.
When asked about Epstein, people on St. Thomas Island go silent and leave, while others who dare to say anything speak in hushed voices. Epstein’s staffs had signed extended nondisclosure agreements and are reluctant to talk for fear of reprisal.
Since his arrest and the news of his death in jail, while awaiting trial in New York on sex trafficking charges, both locals and tourists had been taking closer peeks at Epstein’s Little St James.
Curiosity peaks when locals spot FBI agents on the island, searching the mansion and carrying away some large items, like computers.
“No one used to pay attention to it,” but now “there’s a ton more tourists,” said Jon Stewart, a charter boat company owner.
“Just the rich billionaire that owns everything around here. A lot of people don’t really saw him, he flies in his helicopter and every once in a while we see him in the Marina and stuff but that’s about it. I don’t think people see him all that often,” said Jon Stewart ,a charter boat company owner.
So, did Epstein really commit suicide? Following the news of his death, some locals are saying it does not make sense that Epstein had killed himself.
“I’m not sure about that, because right now people are just talking about whether or not he’s actually still alive, and nobody knows really what’s going to happen with his island,” said Yvonne Light.
“So, I think that still the talk is, is he’s still alive or did somebody have him killed?” said the store manager.
“Nobody knows really what’s going to happen with his island,” said Light, who saw the FBI agents while she was with her husband on board their boat.
An FBI representative confirmed on Wednesday, Aug. 14, that the agency was doing a “court-authorized law enforcement activity” on Epstein’s island property. But the agency would not be issuing any statements, said the FBI representative, according to an AP report.
Light summed up the general view of the local people. “After he was charged, I think everybody was relieved that the charges were brought back up because I think people felt that it was a miscarriage of justice that they were dropped in the first place,” said Light.
Epstein owned Little St. James Island and another island in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
It is likely that the lavishly built mansion on Little St. James Island will be sold to settle emerging lawsuits against Epstein and his estate for his alleged sexual exploitation of minors.