NORTH ATTLEBORO - The New England Patriots say they've released tight end Aaron Hernandez "following his arrest in the investigation of a homicide" last week in nearby North Attleboro.
The Patriots issued a statement Wednesday saying: "We realize that law enforcement investigations into this matter are ongoing. We support their efforts and respect the process. At this time, we believe this transaction is simply the right thing to do."
The move came a few hours after Hernandez was taken from his home in handcuffs. He was taken into custody more than a week after a Boston semi-pro football player was found dead in an industrial park a mile from Hernandez's house.
Odin Lloyd, a 27-year-old semi-pro football player for the Boston Bandits, was found slain June 17. Officials ruled the death a homicide but did not say how Lloyd died.
Family members say Lloyd was dating a woman whose sister is Hernandez's fiancee. Officials ruled the death a homicide but did not say how Lloyd died.
It's unclear why Hernandez was being taken into custody Wednesday morning and put into the back of a marked police car.
State police have searched in and around Hernandez's home in North Attleborough several times. At least three search warrants have been issued in connection with the investigation.
Hernandez attorney Michael Fee hasn't discussed the investigation.
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