BOSTON – Aaron Hernandez’s body was released to a funeral home following an autopsy, but government officials on Thursday refused to release more information about the circumstances behind his apparent suicide in a maximum-security prison.
The Boston Globe, which first reported the release of the body, also said the former New England Patriots tight end was on the phone with his fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez, hours before he was found hanging in his cell early Wednesday, according to one of Hernandez’s lawyers. It’s not clear what they may have discussed.
Hernandez apparently killed himself by hanging himself from a bedsheet affixed to a window in his cell at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley. Guards found Hernandez shortly after 3 a.m. Wednesday.
Prison officials say Hernandez jammed the door to prevent officers from entering, didn’t leave a suicide note and wasn’t on suicide watch because he didn’t appear to be at risk.
But prison officials, state police and prosecutors declined to comment further or release any records related to Hernandez’s death, citing their ongoing investigation. They have yet to release the incident report, officers’ logs, video footage from the area around Hernandez’s cell or other details about prison protocol, despite repeated requests from The Associated Press.
Correction Department spokesman Christopher Fallon said the agency won’t comment until the investigation was completed. State police spokesman Dave Procopio also cited the “active” investigation in not releasing more information. The state medical examiner’s office also declined to comment on the status of its autopsy or the release of Hernandez’s body.
The Faggas Funeral Home in Watertown, Massachusetts, confirmed to the AP that it received the body but that funeral services will likely be held elsewhere for the Connecticut native.
Many other questions remain unanswered, including what’s to become of Hernandez’s estate and why he would kill himself just days after the he was cleared of two murder charges.
Hernandez had been serving a life sentence without parole for the 2013 slaying of a onetime friend.
During his trial in Boston for the killing of two men in Boston in 2012, Hernandez appeared upbeat, constantly backslapping his lawyers, letting out bellowing laughs and blowing kisses to his 4-year-old daughter…