A modeling agency CEO alleged to possess key information regarding the late Jeffrey Epstein’s sex crimes has disappeared like a “ghost… without a trace,” according to the Daily Mail.
The British tabloid says the former Epstein associate is Frenchman Jean-Luc Brunel, who founded the New York City-based modeling agency MC2. The Mail states investigators have sought assistance from authorities in the United States, Europe, and Brazil to track down the elusive Brunel.
Former MC2 model Svetlana Pozhidaeva was photographed at Epstein’s $77-million Manhattan mansion in 2016. Reports of Brunel’s disappearance comes after French prosecutors launched a separate investigation into Epstein’s alleged sex crimes.
Last week, the Daily Mail published a photo of Brunel cuddling with Ghislaine Maxwell, a longtime friend and alleged procurer of underage girls, at Epstein’s “Little Saint James” private Caribbean Island.
Epstein owned a home in Paris, where Brunel also reportedly lived. The agency boss is said to have visited Brazil at the beginning of the summer to search for new modeling talent. However, locating Brunel has proven difficult, as investigators say he is “uncontactable” because he has no address or social media accounts, according to the Mail.
Last week, a judge formally ended the criminal case against Epstein, but not without a final tribute to the women who spoke out against the financier.
U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman took the procedural step of adding his initials to an order dismissing the indictment that charged the 66-year-old Epstein with conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors and sex trafficking of minors in the early 2000s in Florida and New York.
In requesting the action 10 days earlier, U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman, who is not related to the judge, noted that the law required the dismissal after Epstein killed himself in jail August 10th while he was awaiting trial.
Though anticipated, Berman’s action included a reference to a last Tuesday court hearing where 16 women spoke about their claims against Epstein of sexual abuse, some committed when they were under the age of consent.
The women said he used his financial power and connections to famous people to make them vulnerable, some as teenagers, to sexual attacks that sometimes continued for years.
The allegations mirrored criminal charges in which prosecutors said Epstein repeatedly assaulted women and teenage girls in the early 2000s at his Manhattan mansion and at another opulent estate in Palm Beach, Florida.
Attorney General William Barr said he was “appalled that Epstein died while in federal custody. He directed the FBI and Department of Justice to investigate “serious irregularities” at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in lower Manhattan.
“Epstein’s death raises serious questions that must be answered,” Barr said in a statement.
The Justice Department has reassigned the warden at that jail, Lamine N’Diaye, and two guards were placed on administrative leave.
Two faulty surveillance cameras stationed outside Epstein’s prison cell are under examination by the FBI’s crime laboratory in Virginia, according to Reuters.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.