Just one day after Massachusetts State Police announced that Aaron Hernandez had not been ruled out as a suspect in the murder of Odin Lloyd, a new report revealed that the New England Patriots star was with the victim on the night of the homicide.
A source familiar with the investigation revealed Thursday that authorities believe Hernandez is “directly tied” to the murder of Lloyd, and had been seen with the victim at a bar just hours before his death, Fox 25 Boston reports. This development comes mere hours after CBS Boston reported that Hernandez was “not cooperating” with the investigation.
The source also stated that Hernandez had been seen with Lloyd on the night of his apparent murder, Fox 25 reports. According to the account, Hernandez, Lloyd and two other men were seen together at a Boston bar, and were later spotted leaving together in a car driven by Hernandez. The source added that a text message Lloyd sent to another friend seemed to confirm that.
While authorities have yet to determine what transpired during the car ride, the source claims that only three of the men, including Hernandez, made it back to the Patriots tight end’s home—and Lloyd was not among them, Fox Boston reports. The source also noted that forensic evidence has linked a car driven by Hernandez to one of the crime scenes related to the Lloyd homicide.
Hernandez was initially linked to the murder case when police discovered a black Chevrolet Suburban rental car, which had been registered under his name, near where Lloyd’s body was found in North Attleboro Industrial Park, NESN reports. It is not yet clear if the rental car was the same vehicle that Hernandez was driving on the night of Lloyd’s murder. According to Deadspin, police have also issued a BOLO (“be on the lookout”) for a silver Chrysler 300 with Rhode Island license plates.
On Tuesday, State Police executed a search warrant Tuesday on Hernandez’s North Attleboro, Mass., home. Authorities were seen leaving the 23-year-old’s home with a box in their possession, but have yet to reveal the evidence, if any, that their search uncovered. Lloyd’s body was found less than a mile from the home.
Authorities reportedly returned to the Hernandez residence on Wednesday, but their knocks at his front door went unanswered, CBS Boston reports. Detectives declined to speak with reporters who had gathered at the scene.
Lloyd was a semi-pro linebacker with the Boston Bandits, CBS Boston reports. Deadspin notes that the 27-year-old had previously dated Hernandez’s girlfriend’s sister.