(ABC) — In his suicide note to his fiancée released today, Aaron Hernandez wrote that he told her what was coming “indirectly” and encouraged her to share his story, adding “know you are an angel.”
The letter to Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez was one of three found in the former New England Patriots player’s prison cell at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts, after he was discovered hanging in the early morning hours of April 19.
“Shay, you have always been my soul-mate and I want you to live life and know I’m always with you,” he writes in the note, obtained by ABC News. “I told you what was coming indirectly! I love you so much and know you are an angel. … Tell my story fully but never think anything besides how much I love you.”
Hernandez’s family is calling for an independent probe into his death after state investigators determined he wasn’t on any drugs when he apparently took his own life in prison.
“Now that the state authorities have completed and closed their investigation into the death of Aaron, we owe it Aaron and his family to conduct a thorough and independent investigation into this tragic death,” Hernandez’s lead attorney, Jose Baez, said in a statement obtained by ABC News on Thursday night.
Hernandez was serving a life sentence for murder at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center. The Worcester County District Attorney’s Office and the Massachusetts State Police on Thursday released their report on the investigation into his death, which had been ruled a suicide.
The report shares chilling new details on the circumstances surrounding Hernandez’s death and confirms information that had already been reported by the media.
According to the report, Hernandez was “naked” when he was discovered hanged from a bed sheet tied around the cell’s window bars. A postmortem toxicology of the former NFL player’s blood came back negative for all substances tested, including synthetic cannabinoids.
Hernandez’s lead attorney said state authorities exhibited an “unprecedented” and “total lack of professionalism” throughout the investigation.
“The majority of information contained in these reports was leaked to the press during the course of the investigation. The family was never advised during the investigation or before the report was released today as to any of the specifics of the investigation,” Baez said in the statement. “They unfortunately learned through the numerous press reports, citing unnamed government sources or those close to the investigation, of the details of Aaron’s death. The family members were victims in this matter and deserved better treatment by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”
Baez continued: “The unprofessional behavior of those entrusted to impartially and professionally conduct an investigation into Aaron’s death has caused grave concern as to the validity and thoroughness of the investigation.” Prison authorities declined to comment beyond the official report on Hernandez’s death.
Baez said his legal team intends to “fully, completely and impartially review all of the evidence” using the “best investigators and forensic experts available.” The attorney also warned that “any official who attempted to interfere or inhibit our investigation by refusing to allow access to the evidence surrounding this matter will not be tolerated.”
Once a star NFL tight end, Hernandez, 27, was acquitted less than a week before his death of killing two men in 2012. He was already serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for the 2013 killing of semiprofessional football player Odin Lloyd, who was dating the sister of Jenkins-Hernandez.
Hernandez and Jenkins-Hernandez have a 4-year-old daughter.
According to the Massachusetts Department of Correction, Hernandez was in a “single cell in a general population housing.”
A spokesman for the Massachusetts Department of Correction told ABC News that there was no prior concern that Hernandez was suicidal and that if there had been, he would have been on mental health watch in a different part of the prison.
Correction officers told police that Hernandez had been locked in his cell just before 8 p.m. ET on April 18 and remained there until the following day just after 3 a.m. ET, when he was found hanging. Video surveillance of the cell block from the time Hernandez entered his cell until the time he was transported to the hospital show no one entered the cell until correction officers came to render aid, according to the report.
Surveillance video also shows that Hernandez was on the phone prior to being locked in his cell. State authorities listened to the last five phone calls Hernandez made on April 18 and determined he did not make “any apparent indication of an intent to harm himself during any of those phone calls,” the report states.
The door to Hernandez’s jail cell was “pegged,” with cardboard shoved into the door tracks to prevent the door from opening. Hernandez had also placed “a large amount of shampoo on the floor” inside his cell, making it very slippery, according to the report.
Correction officers were able to cut Hernandez down and began administering CPR. Medics continued CPR on Hernandez as he was transported to UMASS Health Alliance Hospital in Leominster. He never regained consciousness and was pronounced dead just after 4 a.m. ET, according to the report.
After performing an autopsy of Hernandez, Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Henry N. Nields concluded the cause of death as asphyxia by hanging and the manner of death was suicide.
According to the report, state authorities observed what appeared to be “a large circular blood mark on each of Hernandez’s feet” as well as the Bible verse John 3:16 written in ink across his forehead. The verse reads, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
The same Bible verse, along with “several drawings,” was written “in a substance consistent with blood” on the wall of Hernandez’s cell. Under the drawings was a Bible open to John 3:16, with the 16th verse marked in blood. Next to the Bible were three handwritten letters, according to the report.
Investigators determined with a “reasonable degree of certainty” that the letters found in Hernandez’s cell were written by him, the report states.
State authorities took custody of the letters before releasing them to Hernandez’s family, according to the Worcester County District Attorney’s Office.