Uncle: Patriots player had link to homicide victim
FILE - In this May 29, 2013, file photo, New England Patriots' Aaron Hernandez kneels on the field during NFL football practice in Foxborough, Mass. Hernandez is being sued in South Florida by a man claiming Hernandez shot him in the face after an argument at a strip club. The lawsuit comes as police in New England investigate Hernandez's possible connection to the death of a semipro player. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)
BOSTON – New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez had a connection to a homicide victim found in an industrial park near the athlete’s home, but family and officials were mum on the nature of their relationship, two days after police first visited the upscale division.
The body found about a mile from Hernandez’s sprawling home in North Attleborough was that of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd, according to a prosecutor’s office. His cause of death wasn’t released.
Lloyd was a semi-pro football player for the Boston Bandits and had a connection to Hernandez, whose home was searched by police, his family said Wednesday.
Hernandez attorney Michael Fee acknowledged media reports about the state police search of Hernandez’s home as part of an investigation but said he and the player wouldn’t have any comment on it.
“My son is a wonderful child,” said, Lloyd’s mother, Ursula Ward, as she cried outside the family home in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood. “He’s a family guy. He hasn’t done anything to hurt anyone.”
Ward would not say how Lloyd knew Hernandez and did not say if police told her how her son died. An uncle said Lloyd had a connection to Hernandez but wouldn’t elaborate.
North Attleborough sits on the Rhode Island state line not far from the Patriots’ stadium in Foxborough. They referred questions about the investigation to the office of Bristol District Attorney Samuel Sutter.
Sutter’s office said investigators were asking for the public’s help to find a silver mirror cover believed to have broken off a car between Boston and North Attleborough.
Sports Illustrated, citing an unidentified source, reported Tuesday that Hernandez was not believed to be a suspect in what was being treated then as a possible homicide.
A Texas woman was awarded custody Thursday of her 9-month-old orphaned cousin whose mother was killed by former Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher late last year before he turned the gun on himself. Jackson County Probate Commissioner Daniel Wheeler issued an order Thursday granting custody of Zoey Perkins to Sophie Perkins of Pflugerville, Texas, saying she was more suited than Belcher’s mother to be the baby’s guardian. Zoey was orphaned on the morning of Dec. 1 when her father, Belcher, fatally shot her mother, Kasandra Perkins, in the couple’s Kansas City home. Belcher then drove to Arrowhead Stadium and killed himself in front of coaches and the team’s general manager as they pleaded with him to put the gun down.