Patriots* Aaron Hernandez questioned then charged with murder. MERGED
Massachusetts investigators plan to interview New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez in connection the murder of a man police call an "associate" of player No. 81, ABC News has learned.
Hernandez's jersey number is 81.
Investigators are seeking a warrant to search Hernandez's home in connection with the death, sources told ABC News.
Hernandez has been uncooperative with police since the body of a 27-year-old man was found in an industrial park not far from the Patriot player's North Attleboro home, two law enforcement sources said.
A rental vehicle with Rhode Island plates was recovered near the scene, which led investigators to Hernandez, sources told ABC News.
Bristol County District Attorney Sam Sutter confirmed in a press statement that a body was found around 5:30 p.m. Monday in a clearing near John Dietsch Boulevard. Sutter said that based on the "nature and circumstances" of the body that the investigation would be handed over to Massachusetts state police detectives.
Hernandez is spending the off-season recovering from a shoulder scope.
Pats Aaron Hernandez questioned by police in homicide probe
NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. -- New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was questioned by police investigating a possible homicide in this town 40 miles south of Boston. A source with knowledge of the investigation said Massachusetts State police spoke to Hernandez on Monday and were interested in possibly searching his home.
Hernandez is not believed to be a murder suspect, according to a source, but a vehicle rented in his name has emerged as a key piece of evidence in the investigation. The Sun Chronicle of Attleboro, Mass., reported on Tuesday that police identified a rented 2013 Chevrolet Suburban with Rhode Island license plates in connection with the possible homicide. According to the paper, the vehicle is registered to Enterprise and investigators were hoping to analyze it for fingerprints. A source said Hernandez's name is tied to that rental vehicle.
A jogger found the body of a 27-year-old Boston man on Monday in an North Attleboro clearing, less than a mile from Hernandez's home.
A North Attleboro police car idled in front of Hernandez's home on Tuesday, parked across the street from two television news vans. Yasmina Serdarevic, a spokesperson for the Bristol County District Attorney's Office, declined comment on Tuesday afternoon when contacted by SI.com.
A source close to Hernandez acknowledged a connection between the player and the case, but would not elaborate. Athletes First, Hernandez's agency, declined comment when contacted by SI.com. Hernandez has consulted with a lawyer, who did not return a call from SI.com.
A fourth-round pick in the 2010 draft, Hernandez was named to the Pro Bowl in his second season. Last season he caught 51 passes and scored five touchdowns for the Patriots.
Not a good time to be a New England TE