I-Team: Hernandez Left Notes For Family In Cell Before Death

SHIRLEY (CBS) – The death of former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez has been ruled a suicide.

According to the Worcester County District Attorney, there were no signs of a struggle, and Hernandez was alone when he died in his single cell at the Souza-Baranowski Correction Center.

An autopsy concluded that the manner of death was suicide and the cause asphyxia by hanging.

Hernandez was found hanging from a bed sheet in his cell shortly after 3 a.m. on Wednesday. He had the words “John 3:16” written on his forehead as well as on the wall of his cell.

Sources tell the I-Team that Hernandez also had a word carved into his arm.

An investigation by the State Police and Department of Correction found cardboard jammed into the door tracks of his cell “to try to impede entry.” Soapy water covered the floor of Hernandez’s cell, a technique prisoners use to make the floor slippery for correction officers, sources say.

Investigators also found three hand-written notes next to a Bible in the cell. Sources say those notes were written to his mother, fiancee, and four-year-old daughter, telling them “I love you and please don’t cry.”

Hernandez was locked in his cell at about 8 p.m. and no one entered the cell until after 3:03 a.m. when a correction officer observed him.

WBZ-TV I-Team chief correspondent Cheryl Fiandaca learned that at least one correction officer has been “detached with pay” in wake of Hernandez’s death.

The officer admitted to missing the 2 a.m. cell check and found him at next hour’s check.

Investigators have begun gathering all of the recorded telephone calls Hernandez made from prison in the weeks leading up to his death.

Sources also said that correction officers searched all of the cells in the G block (the area where Hernandez’s G2-57 cell was located) for contraband Thursday morning.

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