Aaron Hernandez’s death has officially been ruled a suicide.
On April 20, just over 24 hours after the former New England Patriots player was found dead in his prison cell at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts, the medical examiner and officials confirmed Hernandez hung himself after writing three suicide notes.
In a statement, the Worcester District Attorney’s Office told press, via TMZ, “Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Henry N. Nields performed an autopsy on Mr. Hernandez on Wednesday and concluded today that the manner of death was suicide and the cause asphyxia by hanging.”
After Aaron Hernandez was found dead in his cell, investigators discovered cardboard in the tracks of the cell door, which they suspect was placed there by Hernandez in an effort to delay entry. They also found three separate handwritten suicide notes, one to the general public and two others written for specifically named recipients.
“There were no signs of a struggle, and investigators determined that [Aaron Hernandez] was alone at the time of the hanging,” the statement continued.
Aaron Hernandez was serving life a life sentence for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd at the time of his death. Lloyd was a semi-pro football player who was not only a friend of Hernandez, but also the boyfriend of his fiancee’s sister.
While the content of Aaron Hernandez’s suicide notes were not revealed, other details regarding the findings of his cell have been revealed. On April 20, In Touch Weekly shared a report with readers which suggested Aaron Hernandez had the phrase “John 3:16” written in red on both his cell wall and his forehead. The Bible in his cell, which was found beside his suicide notes, was also said to have been open to the page in which John 3:16 is found.
The full text of John 3:16 reads, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Although Aaron Hernandez’s death has been confirmed a suicide, the former athlete was not known to be suicidal and had just been acquitted of a double homicide last Friday. As fans and followers of Aaron Hernandez may recall, the footballer was accused of a double murder in 2012 after someone allegedly spilled a drink on him at a club.
“There were no conversations or correspondence from [Aaron Hernandez] to his family or legal team that would have indicated anything like this was possible,” his attorney, Jose Baez, explained, via Fox News. “Aaron was looking forward to an opportunity for a second chance to prove his innocence. Those who love and care about him are heartbroken and determined to find the truth surrounding his untimely death.”
Fox News also shared a couple of reactions to Aaron Hernandez’s death, including comments from one of the friends of Lloyd, who suspected he may have taken his life because he could no longer bear to live with himself after reportedly taking someone’s life.
“I just think it got to him — the guilt,” Mixson Philip said. “Each man has to live with himself. You can put on an act like nothing happened, but you’ve got a soul. You’ve got a heart.”
Meanwhile, friends of Aaron Hernandez in Connecticut were having a hard time accepting his death as suicide.
“Especially after him getting acquitted of the double murder. That was a positive thing in our minds,” said Alex Cugno, who grew up with Aaron Hernandez in Bristol. “I don’t believe that he would have killed himself. It just doesn’t add up.”
Aaron Hernandez leaves behind fiancee Shayanna Jenkins and their four-year-old daughter, Avielle Janelle Jenkins-Hernandez.
[Featured Image by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images]