When authorities found Aaron Hernandez dead inside his prison cell at Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Lancaster, Massachusetts, it initially seemed like an open-and-shut case.
Hernandez had recently been acquitted of double homicide, but was still facing life behind bars for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd.
Sources close to Hernandez claimed that though the outcome of the trial was likely to have little impact on his time behind bars, it was important to the former New England Patriots tight end to ensure that he was cleared of any connection to the murders of Safiro Furtado and Daniel de Abreu.
Having lived to see himself cleared of charges, the story went, Hernandez saw no reason to go on living.
But as more information about Hernandez's final days public, a different picture began to emerge.
For one thing, his attorneys reported that his acquittal in the Furtado-Abreu murders gave Hernandez hope that his appeal of the Odin charges would be successful.
However, there were also rumors that Hernandez was experiencing profound emotional duress due to the nature of his life behind bars.
Prison sources indicated that the 27-year-old had become distraught in recent weeks due to an alleged romantic relationship with a fellow inmate named Kyle Kennedy.
Insiders say Hernandez requested that he and Kennedy be permitted to share a cell, and became distraught when his request was denied.
Attorneys for Hernandez have denied that their client was romantically involved, but Kennedy spent more than a week on suicide watch after Hernandez's death.
Today, Kennedy spoke out for the first time about Hernandez's death, and while he did not confirm that he and the former NFL standout were romantically involved, Kennedy did make it clear that they shared a close emotional bond:
“I miss my friend Aaron Hernandez,” said the 22-year-old in a statement issued to Radar Online.
“I’d like to send my condolences to his fiancée, his mother and his daughter.”
Kennedy, who is no longer on suicide watch, is serving a sentence for armed robbery.
It is not known if he has had or will have any contact with Hernandez's surviving relatives.