Former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez committed suicide in a Massachusetts prison, stateauthorities say.
Hernandez was found hanging in a cellat the Souza Baranowski Correctional Center just after 3 a.m., according to a statement from the Department of Correction.
“Mr. Hernandez was in a single cell in a general population unit,” the statementsaid. “Mr. Hernandez hanged himself utilizing a bedsheet that he attached to his cell window. Mr. Hernandez also attempted to block his door from the inside by jamming the door with various items.”
Hernandez, 27, was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 4:07 a.m. Wednesday, authorities said.
Hernandezwas serving a life sentence for killing Odin Lloyd in North Attleborough in 2013.
Just last week, he wasacquittedof the 2012 killings oftwo men in Boston.
Department of Correctionsspokesman Christopher Fallon told the Boston Globe that Hernandez was not on sucide watch because there was no indication that was necessary.
“If he had made any kind of statement, he would have not been in that unit,"Fallon said.
Investigators have not founda suicide note, he told the Globe, but the investigation is ongoing.
Hernandez's death ends a troubled adult life that began with promise.A member of a national championship team at Florida, Hernandez earned consensus All-America honors in 2009. He entered the 2010 NFL draft after his junior year, and the Patriots took him in the fourth round.
In three seasons from 2010-12 with the Patriots, Hernandez had 175 catches for 1,956 yards and18 touchdowns. But his career soon was sidetracked by off-the-field issues.
He was releasedby the Patriots in June 2013 immediately after his arrest for the first-degree murder of Lloyd, for which he was convicted in 2015.
A Patriots spokesman told the Globe the team is aware of Hernandez's death, but does not plan to comment. The Patriots are scheduled to visit the White House today to celebrate their Super Bowl victory.
Omnisport contributed to this report.