Body found near Patriot's home was homicide victim

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 19, 2013 at 8:26 pm •  Published: June 19, 2013
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The Patriots drafted Hernandez out of Florida in 2010. Since then, he has combined with Rob Gronkowski to form one of the top tight end duos in the NFL. He missed 10 games last season with an ankle injury and had shoulder surgery in April but is expected to be ready for training camp. Last summer, the Patriots gave him a five-year contract worth $40 million.

Patriots spokesman Stacey James said the team did not anticipate commenting publicly during the police investigation.

Sports Illustrated reported that the link between Hernandez and the case was a rented Chevrolet Suburban with Rhode Island plates that police had been searching for. The Associated Press could not independently confirm the report.

Lloyd's neighbor Larry Connors said a black Suburban with Rhode Island license plates was towed out of the yard of Lloyd's house after his body was found. Lloyd had been driving it for a few days, but Connors had never seen it before that.

Neighbor Paul Sandefur, a retired transit police officer, said he had known Lloyd since he was in diapers and was at a loss to explain what might have led to his death.

"He'd tease me about coming over to play basketball because I used to tell all the kids I could beat them," Sandefur said. "He was an exceptional kid. It's just inconceivable that something would happen to him."

Both neighbors thought Lloyd worked in construction, and neither knew of any connection between him and Hernandez.

Bandits coach Olivier Bustin, who last saw Lloyd on Saturday at a team scrimmage and heard on Tuesday he had been killed, said he never knew him to be in trouble.

"He was a personable guy, just a guy who was well-liked by everybody on the team," said the coach, who said Lloyd didn't start but played a big role on defense.

Lloyd's sister, Olivia Thibou, said her brother always had her back.

"And, you know, it's just tough that he's not here," she said. "As my mom said, just give us our time to grieve. And I hope that they find out who did it."

___

Niedowski reported from North Attleborough. Associated Press reporters Mark Pratt and Jay Lindsay in Boston contributed to this report.

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