Speculation ran rampant following the apparent suicide of former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez in prison Wednesday. The former NFL-er was found hanged in his jail cell by prison officials and pronounced dead early that morning.
Officials said Hernandez used a bed sheet to hang himself in his jail cell. A spokesperson for the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center said officials were not aware of a suicide note written by Hernandez, but stressed that the investigation was ongoing, according to the Boston Herald.
In the days leading up to the event, it did not appear that Hernandez was planning on committing suicide, said assistant deputy commissioner of communications Christopher Fallon, who noted that if there had been concerns about Hernandez, he would have been transferred to a mental health unit.
People took to Twitter and other forms of social media Wednesday to question whether Hernandez’ death was, in fact, a suicide. Despite officials saying they weren’t aware of one, many users questioned if there was a note left by the former player. Other users appeared to stoke speculation that a note did exist, with at least one fake suicide note making the rounds on the internet.
Hernandez, 27, was serving a life sentence for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd, though he was acquitted Friday of a separate double homicide in 2012. His lawyer, Jose Baez, expressed shock as well as some skepticism in a statement following his death.
“The family and legal team is shocked and surprised at the news of Aaron’s death. There were no conversations or correspondences from Aaron to his family or legal team that would have indicated anything like this was possible,” Baez said. “Those who love and care about him are heartbroken and determined to find the truth surrounding his untimely death. We request that authorities conduct a transparent and thorough investigation.”