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- Jeffrey Epstein‘s longtime associate and accused madam Ghislaine Maxwell has seemingly vanished — and no one knows where she is.
- Maxwell has faced heightened scrutiny after Epstein’s apparent suicide last Saturday, and federal prosecutors have said they’re still investigating Epstein’s alleged conspiracy to traffic minors.
- Rumors have popped up that Maxwell could be living as close as Massachusetts, or as far away as France, but nothing has been proven.
- One expert told INSIDER that authorities could bring in US Customs and Border Protection officials or even Interpol to track her down, if they intend to prosecute her.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
When Jeffrey Epstein died by apparent suicide on Saturday, attention turned to one woman: Ghislaine Maxwell.
But Maxwell, Epstein’s longtime associate and accused madam, has reportedly not been seen publicly in three years. And efforts to track her down have mysteriously eluded both authorities and the media thus far.
The heiress was one of the central figures in the convicted sex offender’s inner circle, and women and girls have accused her of facilitating Epstein’s sexual abuse.
US Attorney Geoffrey Berman gave a nod to Epstein’s accusers in a statement following his death in his Manhattan jail cell on August 10, assuring victims that "our investigation of the conduct charged in the indictment — which included a conspiracy count — remains ongoing."
The statement was widely interpreted as an acknowledgment that investigators are actively looking into those accused of helping Epstein traffic minors.
Where she could have gone
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On Wednesday, rumor had it that Maxwell was staying at a $3 million mansion in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts. But its owner, the tech CEO Scott Borgerson, told Business Insider‘s Paige Leskin that Maxwell wasn’t staying there.
He called Maxwell a "former friend" and did not clarify whether Maxwell had stayed at his home previously.
This isn’t the first time Maxwell has seemingly vanished without a trace.
The socialite used to live in a townhouse on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, where she moved after her father’s 1991 death and rubbed elbows with some of New York City’s most prominent figures.
But in 2016, Maxwell’s townhouse was sold, and she vanished from the city’s party scene.
The next year, facing multiple lawsuits, Maxwell couldn’t be found when her lawyers represented her in court. Her lawyers told a judge she was in London, but that they didn’t know the precise address, according to The New York Times.
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She likely has considerable assets at her disposal. According to a New York Post story from 2000, she had a $100,000 a year trust fund from her father.
How authorities might be tracking down Maxwell’s whereabouts
David Weinstein, a former federal prosecutor for the Southern District of Florida, told INSIDER that authorities can leverage a number of different tactics to hunt down where Maxwell is currently living.
Firstly, if Maxwell did indeed leave the United States, authorities would likely start working with Customs and Border Protection officials to find records of when she last entered or exited the country.
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"If someone is checking in through a port of entry where you’re required to check in — meaning an airport or sea port — they’ve got records of it. When she came and when she went, when was her last entry, and when was her last exit," Weinstein said.
Authorities can also work with foreign governments to track Maxwell’s entries and exits to different countries, provided those governments are willing to work with the US, Weinstein said.
A last resort could also be relying on Interpol, the International Criminal Police Organization, to hunt her down using a "red notice" often used to arrest fugitives in foreign countries. That would likely come after prosecutors charged her with a crime.
On Wednesday, The Daily Beast reported that Maxwell was lying low in France, citing unnamed friends who said they themselves had not been able to make contact.
"She isn’t responding to even her closest friends’ calls," one person told The Beast.
- Read more:
- Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged madam, lived in a $5 million NYC mansion with ties to Epstein and ran a mysterious private foundation. Here’s what we know about the British socialite’s finances and assets.
- A look inside Jeffrey Epstein’s real-estate portfolio, from the Florida and NYC mansions where sex trafficking reportedly took place to the private island in the Caribbean that was raided by the FBI
- Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged madam, donated money to a charity for sex trafficking victims in 2008
- Epstein’s accusers say now that he’s dead the government should rescind the generous 2007 plea deal that protected any accomplices
- Prison guards watching Jeffrey Epstein reportedly fell asleep and failed to check on him for 3 hours the night he died — then tried to cover up their mistake
- Here’s what conditions are like at the prison where Jeffrey Epstein apparently died by suicide
- Department of Justice will pursue Epstein co-conspirators despite his suicide in jail, Attorney General William Barr says