Strip club searched as homicide probe widens
Saturday, June 22, 2013
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Erin Smith, Gary J. Remal, O’Ryan Johnson and Katie Eastman
A Rhode Island strip club was searched by homicide detectives probing the death of a Dorchester man as the investigation involving Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez widened yesterday as three new search warrants were issued.
Gerard DiSanto, owner of Club Desire in Providence, told the Herald he didn’t know what police were looking for when they came to his club. He also said he did not know if Hernandez was a customer.
“I’m not there every day,” he said.
Providence police assisted Massachusetts State Police with the Hernandez investigation at the club Thursday. Investigators are hunting for clues in the death of Odin L. Lloyd, 27, who was found dead Monday night less than a mile from Hernandez’s North Attleboro home.
Hernandez, and other Patriots players, were also known to pop in at other strip clubs in Providence.
“A bunch would come in and Hernandez was a regular for a while,” said Richard Shappy, owner of the Cadillac Lounge in Providence. “I know (Tom) Brady never comes
... but five, six of them would come in.”
Investigators have searched Hernandez’s $1.3 million mini-mansion and state police have been seen visiting the property almost daily since the discovery of Lloyd’s body. The Dorchester man was a semi-pro football player and friend of Hernandez.
As the probe continues, it’s already impacting the Pats player’s pocketbook. CytoSport, the California maker of Muscle Milk, announced it was terminating its endorsement deal with Hernandez yesterday, citing the ongoing investigation.
Three search warrants have been issued in connection with the homicide probe, an Attleboro court clerk told the Herald yesterday.
The warrants have not been returned, and are not public. Warrants must be returned within seven days.
Attleboro court clerk Nancy E. Clarke said she could not comment on where the warrants were intended to allow investigators to search.
Attleboro circuit court clerk Mark Sturdy said no arrest warrant for Aaron Hernandez had been issued out of that court as of the close of business yesterday. “Not that I’m aware of,” Sturdy said.
Clarke also said no warrant has been issued for the arrest of Hernandez anywhere in the state.
“If it was issued anywhere in the state it would show up,” Clarke said. “There’s only three clerks here, we all talk to each other. No warrant has been issued.”
Just before noon yesterday, two state troopers delivered some papers to Hernandez’s house, which was quiet, aside from a scrum of media. A few minutes earlier, a gift order of fruit was delivered. Hernandez later returned home just before 5 p.m. yesterday.
Lloyd’s sister, Olivia Thibou, said her family was frustrated police have not kept them informed about the homicide investigation.
“Whatever we know, whatever we see, is from TV,” Thibou said yesterday. “We talked to a detective, but they just keep saying, ‘It’s an active investigation.’ ”
Thibou teared up as she spoke of her mother, devastated by the loss of her son.
“It’s really hard for her,” Thibou said. “We’re trying to plan his funeral, and picking out a casket for him is really hard.”