NORTH ATTLEBOROUGH, Mass. (WGGB/AP) — State police returned to the home of New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez on Wednesday, two days after a body was found about a mile away.
Two troopers knocked on the door of Hernandez’s sprawling house in an upscale subdivision Wednesday morning, but no one answered. The night before, police spent hours there as another group of officers searched an industrial park where the body was found Monday. No more details about the body have been released.
Sports Illustrated, citing an unidentified source, reported that Hernandez was not believed to be a suspect in what was being treated as a possible homicide. The magazine said police had spoken with Hernandez.
State police referred questions to Bristol District Attorney Sam Sutter’s office, which declined to comment.
Sports Illustrated reported that the link between Hernandez and the case was a rented Chevrolet Suburban with Rhode Island plates that police had been searching for. The Associated Press could not independently confirm the report.
Hernandez is represented by the Athletes First agency, which said it has no comment “on the Aaron Hernandez situation.” His mother said by phone from Connecticut on Tuesday she had no knowledge of a case involving him.
“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.
Meanwhile, court documents filed in Florida last week say that Hernandez allegedly shot another man earlier this year in Miami.
In a lawsuit filed last Thursday in U.S. District Court in Florida, attorneys for Alexander Bradley say Hernandez and Bradley had gotten into an argument on February 13, 2013 outside a strip club in Miami.
The men, along with two other people, got into a car and were leaving Miami towards Palm Beach when Hernandez “caused the gun to go off while aiming it” at Bradley, the suit says.
The gunshot allegedly resulted in Bradley losing his right eye and necessitated screws and plates inserted into the right side of his face. He also suffered injuries to his right hand and arm.
However, this past Monday, lawyers for Bradley asked for a dismissal of the suit, without prejudice, which U.S. District Court Justice Kathleen Williams granted.
The Patriots drafted Hernandez out of Florida in 2010. Since then, he has combined with Rob Gronkowski to form one of the top tight end duos in the NFL.
In 38 games, the 6-foot-1, 245-pound Hernandez has 175 receptions for 1,956 yards and 18 touchdowns. He missed 10 games last season with an ankle injury and had shoulder surgery in April, but is expected to be ready for training camp. The Patriots have not said which shoulder was operated on.
Last summer, the Patriots gave Hernandez a five-year contract. It was worth $40 million, according to reports, and came just months after the team locked up Gronkowski, through 2019.
Information from Bridget Murphy and Erika Niedowski of the Associated Press was used in this report.