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The last inmate to have shared a jail cell in federal lockup with Jeffrey Epstein before his suicide died a day after Thanksgiving, months after contracting COVID behind bars.
Efrain 'Stone' Reyes was found dead in a bed at his mother's apartment in The Bronx on November 27. He was 51 years old.
Reyes was diagnosed with the coronavirus earlier this year while serving a sentence for a drug trafficking conviction at Queens Detention Facility, where he was transferred from Manhattan Correction Center in August 2019, a day before his notorious cellmate, Epstein, took his own life by hanging.
Efrain 'Stone' Reyes, 51 (left), died at his mother's apartment on November 27. He was the last inmate to share a cell with Jeffrey Epstein (right) before his August 2019 suicide
Reyes was transferred out of the Metropolitan Correctional Center a day before Epstein hanged himself using bedsheets (interior of Epstein's cell is pictured)
Reyes reportedly told his niece before his death that Epstein was a 'good cellmate' he enjoyed reading and kept to himself
Reyes' niece, Angelique Lopez, 27, told the New York Daily News that prior to his death, her uncle spoke about his time behind bars with the billionaire sex offender, whom he described as a 'good cellmate' who kept to himself and spent his time reading.
'He wasn’t a problem starter or too loud,' Lopez told the paper of the disgraced financier, who she said had been placed in her uncle's cell because Reyes had a broken leg and was 'laid back.'
According to Reyes' niece, her uncle told her that he witnessed Epstein being mistreated by correctional officers at MCC and extorted by other inmates, who knew of his large fortune.
'[Staff] were treating him like c**p. They were making him sleep on the floor. They wouldn’t let him sleep on a cot,' Lopez said.
Reyes was said to have told his niece that in his final days, Epstein was on suicide watch, was 'very depressed' and said that 'he didn't want to live anymore'.
Epstein hanged himself using ripped bed sheets less than 24 hours after Reyes was transferred to the privately run Queens jail for cooperating witnesses.
Following Epstein's August 10, 2019, suicide, the FBI questioned Reyes' about his former cellmate's demeanor.
Reyes claimed that Epstein was mistreated by staff at the jail and extorted by other inmates
According to Reyes, Epstein was suicidal towards the end (Epstein's noose is pictured)
Lopez said her uncle cooperated with the investigation, but he was nervous to blow the whistle on the allegedly abusive MCC staff for fear of retaliation.
He was worried if they told them what they did to Epstein he was worried it would follow him and affect him negatively,” Lopez said.
Reyes was at the Queens facility, which previously housed rapper-turned-informant Tekashi69, when he contracted COVID-19 in the spring.
Lopez recounted how her uncle broke down in tears, telling his family of his diagnosis and expressing fear that he would die of the virus behind bars.
The niece said when her uncle regained his freedom in April, it was apparent that the illness had taken a heavy toll on his lungs. The 51-year-old also suffered from diabetes and heart problems.
Following his release, Reyes expressed doubts that Epstein could have hanged himself from the frame of the bunk bed as it wasn't tall enough, saying that it didn't make sense.
However, he said said he couldn't be sure as 'sometimes people are fighting something we know nothing about.'
Epstein's suicide is still the subject of an ongoing investigation by the US Department of Justice.