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It's the story of a talented football player, suddenly tied up in a murder investigation, who takes off in a white SUV. Sound hauntingly familiar?
This time, the athlete in question is Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, who is tangled in a federal investigation after the body of his friend, 27-year-old Odin Lloyd, was found dead from multiple gun shot wounds less than a mile from the NFL star's mansion in North Attleborough, Massachusetts. Authorities searched the home Tuesday.
ABC News is reporting that the 23-year-old intentionally destroyed his sophisticated home security system, and smashed his cell phone before handing over the fragments to investigators.
The victim's sister, Olivia Thibou, told CNN that the two men were at a Boston nightclub together Friday night, and that Lloyd was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancée.
"I wasn't there but I do know that they did go out this weekend," said Thibou. Asked if she knew if the two men had ever argued or had angry words between them, Thibou said no.
The Boston Globe reported Friday that police have recovered video, likely security video from the Dorchester neighborhood where Lloyd was from.
"On that video, a man who appears to be Aaron Hernandez with Lloyd in his company, and this would just a matter of hours before Lloyd's body was found less than a mile from Hernandez's house," said Mark Arsenault, of The Boston Globe.
It is not the first time Hernandez has been questioned over gun violence. Another friend claimed Hernandez shot his eye out over an argument at a strip club in Miami in February.
"This is a bizarre coincidence that these two incidents would come to light at about the same time. But last week a friend, or I guess former friend now, of Hernandez filed a federal lawsuit against him in Florida," said Arsenault.
The lawsuit claims that after an argument at a Miami strip club known as Tootsie's, Hernandez and his friend Alexander Bradley were in a car when Hernandez pointed a gun on him, and either intentionally or through gross negligence pulled the trigger. The bullet took out Bradley's right eye, caused sever damage, and required several surgeries that will leave him disfigured for life.
"He's suing Hernandez for a settlement, a cash settlement in court. The sketchy part about it is back in February when this happened, the local police investigated and Bradley claimed to not know who shot him at the time," said Arsenault.
There have also been reports tying Hernandez to gang activity in his native Bristol, Connecticut. The Patriots took something of a chance on Hernandez.
"He was a fourth round pick, so not a huge investment. However, they knew about the failed drug test in college. So they knew that they were getting a high risk, high reward player," said Arsenault.
"He's been fantastic on the field when he's been healthy. He's an excellent up-and-coming potential NFL super star before this incident happened. Now we wonder if he'll ever see the field again," said Arsenault.