Aaron Hernandez
Former NFL player Aaron Hernandez and defense attorney Charles Rankin listened as U.S. Superior Court Judge Susan Garsh addressed the jury before sending them to continue deliberations in Hernandez's murder trial in Fall River, Massachusetts, April 10, 2015. Reuters

Aaron Hernandez, 27, was found dead in his prison cell Wednesday of an apparent suicide by hanging. The former New England Patriots tight end reportedly used a bed sheet to hang himself from the window of his cell in a general population housing unit. He was serving a life sentence for the murder of Odin Lloyd at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts.

New details surrounding Hernandez’s death continue to surface amid two separate investigations. In addition to one from the Massachusetts State Police, a second investigation is reportedly being spearheaded by attorney Jose Baez. Baez recently represented Hernandez during a trial for the 2012 double murder of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado, of which Hernandez was acquitted.

According to reports, the star athlete was found with a reference to a Bible passage on his forehead. The Boston Globe reported Thursday that Hernandez wrote “John 3:16” on his forehead in red ink. The popular passage says, “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.”

The Chicago Tribune reported Thursday that a Bible found in his cell was opened to the page that contained the verse. Corrections department spokesman Christopher Fallon reportedly said there was no suicide note found in Hernandez’s cell, according to the Boston Globe, and he had not been on suicide watch at the prison.

Authorities are investigating the possibility that Hernandez smoked K2, or synthetic marijuana, before his death, according to WBZ in Boston.

WBZ also reported Wednesday that one of the last people to see Hernandez alive, reportedly a close friend, is in isolation on what is referred to as “eyeball suicide watch.”

Hernandez’s family is reportedly attempting to acquire his brain for chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) research at Boston University. According to ESPN, Baez said the family had received Hernandez’s body from the medical examiner’s office, however, it had not yet released the former athlete’s brain.

aaron hernandez
Former New England Patriots football player Aaron Hernandez (L), sits with his defense attorney Charles Rankin during his murder trial in Fall River. Reuters