NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. » State police officers and dogs searched the home of New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez again today as they continue to investigate the killing of a semi-pro football player whose body was found nearby.
The search of Hernandez’s sprawling home and vehicle in North Attleboro began in the afternoon and lasted for more than three hours and involved several officers, including one with a crowbar, and locksmiths.
Detectives and uniformed officers who searched the home, its backyard and playhouse did not comment to reporters on what they were looking for or what caused them to return to the house located not far from where the Patriots practice.
Police have previously searched in and around the home as they try to figure out who killed Odin Lloyd.
A jogger found Lloyd’s body in an industrial park about a mile from Hernandez’s home on Monday. Family members said Friday that Lloyd had been dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancee for about two years. They said the two men were friends who were together the night Lloyd died.
Authorities have ruled Lloyd’s death a homicide.
A spokeswoman for the Bristol District Attorney’s office declined to comment on the investigation today. A state police spokesman referred questions to the district attorney’s office.
An attorney for Hernandez has said he would not comment on the searches.
Police in nearby Providence, R.I., said they had assisted Massachusetts state police and North Attleborough police with activity related to the Hernandez investigation at a strip club named Club Desire. It was unclear if they believed Lloyd and Hernandez might have been at the club in the days before Lloyd died. A reporter was escorted out of the club Friday afternoon before she could speak with employees or patrons.
On Friday, Attleboro District Court clerk magistrate Mark E. Sturdy said three search warrants had been issued in the investigation earlier in the week but have not been returned, meaning they’re not public. He said no arrest warrants had been filed in state courts by the time court closed at 4:30 p.m. Friday. Courts were closed today.
Patriots spokesman Stacey James has said the team does not anticipate commenting publicly during the police investigation. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was waiting for the legal process to take its course.
The murder investigation is already hitting Hernandez financially.
CytoSport, a Benicia, Calif.-based company that makes Muscle Milk and other supplements for athletes, said Friday it was ending Hernandez’s endorsement contract, effective immediately, because of the investigation.
The Patriots drafted Hernandez out of Florida in 2010. Since then, he has combined with Rob Gronkowski to form one of the top tight end duos in the NFL. He missed 10 games last season with an ankle injury and had shoulder surgery in April but is expected to be ready for training camp. Last summer, the Patriots gave him a five-year contract worth $40 million.
Hernandez said after he was drafted that he had failed a drug test while with the Gators and had been upfront with NFL teams about the issue.
Earlier this week, a man filed a lawsuit in South Florida claiming Hernandez shot him in the face after they argued at a strip club there.