Controversial website 4chan detailed the death of accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein almost an hour before the official announcement, BuzzFeed News reported.
New York City Fire Department officials confirmed yesterday the post on the controversial social media platform did not come from them.
The message was posted on 4chan, an anonymous message board popular with far-right trolls, at 8.16am. Thirty-eight minutes later, an ABC News reporter broke the news of Epstein's death.
"Dont ask me how I know, but Epstein died an hour ago," the post read, along with a picture of Pepe the frog, a meme that has been co-opted by the alt-right. "Screencap this."
The original poster added further information about the procedures allegedly used to attempt to revive Epstein, 66, after he was found, according to BuzzFeed.
"The FDNY reviewed the alleged information and determined it did not come from the Department," Deputy Press Secretary Myles Miller told USA TODAY.
Epstein, 66, is believed to have killed himself early Saturday while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges. The cause of the death has not been announced.
CBS News reported that shouting and shrieking was heard from Epstein's cell at the MCC on the morning he died. Guards attempted to revive Epstein while saying "breathe, Epstein, breathe," the news outlet reported – but cited no sources.
His death prompted the Justice Department to place two guards on leave and remove the jail's warden pending the outcome of investigations by the FBI and the department's inspector general.
Jail guards are suspected of falsifying log entries to show they were checking on inmates every half-hour as required, AP reported.
Surveillance video shows guards never made some of the checks noted in the log, said the person, who was not authorised to discuss the case and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Tuesday.
Federal investigators are looking into whether guards were sleeping on the job.
In the days since the financier's death, a picture has emerged of the Metropolitan Correctional Institution in New York as a chronically understaffed jail, with guards working overtime and other employees pressed into service as correctional officers.
Meanwhile, the fight over Epstein's estate began taking shape, with a woman filing a lawsuit Wednesday claiming he raped her when she was a teenager in 2002.
Jennifer Araoz sued Epstein's former girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell and three unnamed members of his staff — the first of many lawsuits expected to be filed by Epstein's accusers as a new state law went into effect Wednesday that opens up a one-year window for victims of long-ago sex crimes against children to take legal action.
"Today is my first step toward reclaiming my power Jeffrey Epstein and his enablers stole from me," Araoz said.
The lawsuit accuses Maxwell of helping Epstein recruit teenage girls and providing "organisational support to Epstein's sex trafficking ring."
In her lawsuit and in interviews, Araoz said she was a 14-year-old freshman at a performing arts high school near Epstein's Manhattan mansion in 2001 when she was approached on the sidewalk by an unidentified woman in her 20s who invited her to meet the financier.
Epstein began by giving her gifts and encouragement during her visits, then started asking for massages, groping her and having her take her clothes off, she said. Araoz said she stopped seeing Epstein in 2002 after he raped her at his townhouse when she was 15.
Araoz's lawyers said the young woman had no personal contact with Maxwell but is suing her because she had been described in other court cases as having helped Epstein recruit underage girls for sex.