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June 21, 2013

Investigators say Aaron Hernandez 'not in the clear'

BOSTON — The plot thickened Thursday concerning the involvement of New England Patriots receiver Aaron Hernandez in the shooting death of an associate whose body was found a mile from Hernandez' suburban home four days ago.

Authorities returned to Hernandez' sprawling three-story home southwest of Boston after reports surfaced that his home security system, including video surveillance, had been destroyed and that house cleaners had been there Monday before police were aware of the friend's death.

It was also reported that Hernandez, 23, turned over to investigators the demolished pieces of a cellphone.

The body of Odin Lloyd, 27, of Boston, was discovered late Monday afternoon by a jogger in an industrial park near the Hernandez home. A vehicle rented in the name of Hernandez was located nearby.

Lloyd was last seen in a Boston nightclub with Hernandez and others over the weekend. Police believe he was killed with a bullet to the head between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. Monday.

Police said Lloyd, a linebacker with the semi-pro Boston Bandits football team, was an associate of Hernandez. Friends of Lloyd said he was known to hang out with the Patriots player from time to time.

Authorities have not identified Hernandez as a suspect in the Lloyd death, but they did confirm they were investigating the death as a homicide. Sports Illustrated's website (SI.com), quoting unnamed investigators, said Hernandez' involvement was significant and he likely would be charged in the case.

Hernandez was seen coming and going from his home Thursday, first to the Patriots headquarters at nearby Gillette Stadium, then into Boston. Media helicopters flew directly overhead as he drove from point to point. Scores of reporters were camped out across the street from his home.

Police questioned Hernandez earlier in the week, and searched his home on Wednesday. They also scoured the countryside with metal detectors between where Lloyd's body was found and the Hernandez home.

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