Police have yet to rule out New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez as a suspect in a homicide investigation in North Attleboro, Mass., WBZ-TV reported Wednesday.
State police detectives returned Wednesday morning to Hernandez’s home, near an industrial park where the body of a jogger was found Monday, and no one answered the door.
Hernandez reportedly is not cooperating with investigators. He was seen leaving the home with a woman earlier Wednesday in a white Audi SUV. He did not stop to offer a comment to reporters.
In an unrelated case, a Connecticut man has sued Hernandez for allegedly shooting him in the face after the two left a Miami strip club in February, the victim’s lawyer said Wednesday.
Attorney David Jaroslawicz said he filed a complaint on behalf of his client Alexander Bradley on Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Florida alleging Hernandez fired a bullet into Bradley’s eye after the two of them drove away from Tootsie’s strip club in Miami. The shooting happened in Riviera Beach, some 75 miles north of Miami, Jaroslawicz said.
Jaroslawicz said Bradley had lost his eye and had undergone multiple surgeries, and would seek unspecified damages from Hernandez. He said an initial complaint had been filed against Hernandez earlier in June but that it was withdrawn because of an error it contained.
In Massachusetts, police searched Hernandez’s home for several hours on Tuesday night and left with a large box. Two men leaving the home were stopped in the driveway and questioned by police. Officers also searched the industrial park area for evidence.
The body was identified Wednesday as 27-year-old Odin Lloyd, a linebacker for the semi-pro Boston Bandits. There were indications that he was shot and the body dumped in the industrial park. Lloyd had practiced with the team on Saturday.
There was an additional report from WBZ-TV that Lloyd was dating the sister of Shayanna Jenkins, Hernandez’s girlfriend and mother of his child, at the time of Lloyd’s death.
“[Lloyd] was in fine spirits, he played well, he was mentoring another player who is aspiring to get into college,” Bandits coach Olivier Bustin told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 in Boston. “He was thanked for his assistance and giving pointers during the scrimmage. He had a very good scrimmage, he was a very well-liked and personable player. Obviously, this is devastating news for us as an organization.”
The link to Hernandez in the case was first reported to be a rented Chevrolet Surburban with Rhode Island license plates that are registered to Enterprise, according to reports. Investigators sought the vehicle to check for fingerprints.
Neither Hernandez’s representatives, Athletes First agency, or his mother would comment on the case when contacted by the television station.
Hernandez joined the Patriots in 2010 after being drafted from Florida and combined with Rob Gronkowski to form one of the NFL’s best tight-end duos. Hernandez has 175 catches for 1,956 yards and 18 touchdowns in three seasons.
“I am aware of the reports, but I do not anticipate that we will be commenting publicly during an ongoing police investigation,” Patriots spokesman Stacey James said.
Hernandez underwent shoulder surgery in April but is expected to be ready for the start of training camp in July.
Officials of the Patriots and at Athletes First, the talent agency that represents Hernandez, declined comment.