The death of ex-Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez has officially been ruled a suicide.
That statement was made on Thursday, according to an announcement from the Worcester County State's Attorney, the superintendent of the Massachusetts state police, and the Massachusetts Secretary of Public Safety.
Hernandez was found just after 3 a.m. in his prison cell hanging from a bed sheet. His single-inmate cell had cardboard jammed into the tracks of the door in an effort to prevent entry. Just over an hour later he was pronounced dead at the UMass-Memorial Health Alliance Hospital. Also on Wednesday, Chief Medical Examiner Henry N. Nields conducted an autopsy on Hernandez, and came to the conclusion that his cause of death was asphyxiation by hanging.
In addition to the message that Hernandez reportedly left on his forehead, investigators found three notes written next to a bible that was in his cell. Now that the autopsy has been completed, Hernandez's brain will be given to Boston University’s Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center in accordance with his family's wishes.
Furthermore, Boston's WHDH is reporting that at least one DOC officer could be facing discipline for Hernandez's suicide. That unnamed officer's possible punishment is said to be because he missed a 2 a.m. walkthrough, which would have been just an hour before Hernandez was found dead. Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker said there would be an investigation so "everyone knows exactly what happened and when."
Investigators are currently reviewing prison surveillance footage, as well as interviewing guards/other inmates who may have had contact with Hernandez.