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NFL

Report: Patriots' Hernandez not ruled out as suspect

| Thursday, June 20, 2013, 12:45 p.m.

BOSTON — New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez had a connection to a homicide victim found in an industrial park near the athlete's home, but family and officials were mum on the nature of their relationship Thursday, two days after police first visited the upscale division.

Hernandez hasn't been ruled out as a suspect in the execution-style murder, law enforcement sources told ABC News on Thursday.

Media camped out Thursday at Hernandez's home, on the Rhode Island state line not far from the Patriots' stadium in Foxborough. A news helicopter followed along as Hernandez drove in a white SUV from his home to the stadium then got out and went inside.

Patriots spokesman Stacey James said the team had no comment on why Hernandez was there. He said earlier that the team didn't anticipate commenting publicly during the police investigation.

The body found about a mile from Hernandez's sprawling home in North Attleborough was that of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd, according to a prosecutor's office. His cause of death wasn't released.

Lloyd was a semi-pro football player for the Boston Bandits, and his family said he had a connection to Hernandez, whose home was searched by police.

Hernandez attorney Michael Fee acknowledged media reports about the state police search of Hernandez's home as part of an investigation but said he and the player wouldn't have any comment on it.

Lloyd's mother, Ursula Ward, wouldn't say how Lloyd knew Hernandez and didn't say whether police told her how her son died. An uncle said Lloyd had a connection to Hernandez but wouldn't elaborate.

“My son is a wonderful child,” Ward said Wednesday as she cried outside the family home in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood. “He's a family guy. He hasn't done anything to hurt anyone.”

Bristol District Attorney Samuel Sutter's office said investigators were asking for the public's help to find a silver mirror cover believed to have broken off a car between Boston and North Attleborough.

Meanwhile, Hernandez is being sued in South Florida by a man claiming Hernandez shot him in the face after they argued at a strip club.

The lawsuit filed by 30-year-old Alexander Bradley seeks at least $100,000 in damages.

Bradley claims he and Hernandez were with a group in February at Tootsie's club in Miami when the two got into an argument. Later, as they were driving to Palm Beach County, Bradley claims Hernandez shot him with a handgun, causing him to lose his right eye.

Bradley, who's from Connecticut, also suffers from jaw pain, headaches, permanent injury to his right hand and arm and probably will need further surgery, according to the lawsuit. He already has undergone facial reconstruction surgery and has plates and screws in the right side of his face.

Bradley “will require extensive medical care and treatment for the rest of his life,” the four-page lawsuit said.

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