The news comes just days after Hernandez was acquitted of a double murder. Hernandez was still serving a life sentence after being found guilty in the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd.
Hernandez was 27.
In a statement, the Massachusetts Department of Corrections outlined the event:
“On April 19, 2017, Aaron Hernandez was discovered hanged in his cell by corrections officers at the Souza Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts at approximately 3:05 a.m., lifesaving techniques were attempted on Mr. Hernandez and he was transported to UMASS Leominster where he was pronounced dead at 4:07 a.m. by a physician at the hospital.
“Mr. Hernandez was in a single cell in a general population housing unit. Mr. Hernandez hanged himself utilizing a bed sheet that he attached to his cell window. Mr. Hernandez also attempted to block his door from the inside by jamming the door with various items. The Massachusetts State Police are on scene and the investigation continues. Mr. Hernandez’s next of kin have been notified.”
Hernandez leaves a daughter, 4-year old Avielle (she shares his November birthday), a fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez, his mother, and older brother. His father, Dennis, died from complications after surgery when Hernandez was 16.
In a strange coincidence, Hernandez’s former team is scheduled to visit the White House on Wednesday to celebrate the Patriots’ win over the Atlanta Falcons last February. A team spokesperson told the Boston Globe the Patriots were aware of Hernandez’s death but “don’t anticipate that we will be commenting today.”