Car to be searched in murder probe

Updated: June 19, 2013, 3:03 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

NORTH ATTLEBOROUGH, Mass. -- Investigators plan to execute a search warrant on an Enterprise rental car registered to New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez on Wednesday, sources told ABC News, two days after a man's body was found near the car about a mile from his home.

Meanwhile, at least seven state troopers on Wednesday searched both sides of a road just off the street where Hernandez lives. The officers used thin poles to pull back plants and search through undergrowth along the road.

Hernandez was cooperative with police Tuesday night, sources told ABC News. The investigation is expected to continue through the week.

State police referred questions to Bristol District Attorney Sam Sutter's office, which declined to comment. 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.

"I am aware of the reports, but I do not anticipate that we will be commenting publicly during an ongoing police investigation," Patriots spokesman Stacey James said.

The search of the vehicle was planned after police spent hours at Hernandez's sprawling house in an upscale subdivision Tuesday night while another group of officers searched an industrial park where the body of Odin Lloyd, 27, was found Monday evening. Lloyd was shot in the head, ABC's sources said. His body was discovered in a clearing near John Dietsch Boulevard not far from a vehicle that had been rented by Hernandez, the sources said.

Lloyd was a linebacker for the semi-pro Boston Bandits football team. The team's manager told ABC News that Lloyd last practiced with the Bandits on Saturday.

Suffolk County District Attorney Jake Wark told ABC that Lloyd was arrested in 2008 on a misdemeanor charge stemming from a fight.

Hernandez is represented by the Athletes First agency, which said it has no comment "on the Aaron Hernandez situation." His mother said by phone from Connecticut on Tuesday she had no knowledge of a case involving him.

On Tuesday night, some police officers stood on the front steps of Hernandez's home and others could be seen inside. Some walked around the driveway and in the garage with flashlights. Before wrapping up their work for the night, one officer took a box out of the massive house.

North Attleborough is south of Boston on the Rhode Island state line, not far from the Patriots' stadium in Foxborough.

In 38 games, the 6-foot-1, 245-pound Hernandez has 175 receptions for 1,956 yards and 18 touchdowns. 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. The Patriots have not said which shoulder was operated on.

Last summer, the Patriots gave Hernandez a five-year contract. It was worth $40 million, according to reports, and came just months after the team locked up Gronkowski through 2019.

"Aaron's improved a lot," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said at the time. "He's worked hard, he's improved a lot in all phases of the game -- the passing game, the running game, protection and his overall versatility. He's doing a good job for us."

Information from The Associated Press was included in this report.

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