Basketball star Michael Wright was found dead in a SUV. Slumped in the back, he had a deep head gash. Authorities suspect foul play because Wright’s body was covered in black garbage bags.
Michael Wright, a former forward for the University of Arizona, died in Brooklyn. His body was found slumped down in the back of a Lexus SUV, reported Sport Act. Though police believe that Wright’s death was most likely caused by serious head trauma, as evident from an impact wound, they are treating the death not as an accident, but as homicide.
Michael Wright’s death was the result of serious brain injuries, owing to impact to the head, but his body wasn’t in the driver seat, which might have suggested his death was an accident. Instead, Michael Wright was found dead in the backseat of an SUV under a pile of trash bags Tuesday morning in Brooklyn, reported the Daily News. Though the circumstances under which his body was discovered appear suspicious, police will also investigate if Wright committed suicide. A few sources indicated he was bipolar and may have opted for assisted suicide.
An autopsy has already been completed, but the results haven’t been made public. Law enforcement officials confirmed that they are investigating Wright’s death as homicide. Wright had gone missing from Bergen County, New Jersey, as per a report filed by his roommate. The basketball player had been living in Closter, New Jersey, with a roommate, who had filed a missing person report on November 5. License plate readers, devices which read tags, indicated the SUV’s location. According to neighbors in Brooklyn’s Midwood neighborhood, the Lexus had been sitting on the street since Sunday, reported MSN.
License plates are being mandatorily being fitted with smart-tags that communicate with readers mounted at various locations along highways and on police cruisers. These smart license plates and readers often help drivers pay for toll without reaching for their wallets or loose change. But this time, they assisted police in locating Wright’s SUV.
Michael Wright’s family is still in shock and disbelief, shared Wright’s cousin Randolph Berry.
“We are in disbelief. They’re telling us it’s foul play. His mom is on her way to New York now.”
At 6-foot-8, Wright was an imposing figure on the basketball court. He was a power forward and it is unlikely anyone would be foolish enough to confront him. However, off the field, Wright was kind, added Berry, “He’s a gentle giant. He was a good person.”
Officials investigating Wright’s death indicated that an NYPD cruiser equipped with a license plate reader found Wright’s SUV on E. 16th St. near Ave. I. They added when the police officers approached the vehicle, they found Wright lying on the back seat, dead from a skull fracture.
Law enforcement officials also suspect Michael Wright might have been the victim of blind dating. Though police officials haven’t been forthcoming with information, sources indicate detectives are investigating the possibility that he was killed by someone he met on a gay dating app, Grindr.
No one in the family was aware of Wright’s sexual orientation, added Berry,
“We don’t know anything about his personal life. All we know is that he did damage overseas. When he played ball, he destroyed everyone in front of him.”
What Berry meant was after Wright joined the overseas basketball circuit, he played impressively in Poland, Turkey, and France.
According to University of Arizona’s website, Wright was considered “one of college basketball’s finest and most physical power forwards.” More details about Wright’s death may emerge as investigation proceeds.
[Photo by John Li / Getty Images, Turgay Orme / Euroleague Basketball / Getty Images]