Authorities issued an arrest warrant for New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez three days after police searched his home in connection with a body that was discovered less than a mile way.
The warrant issued was for obstruction of justice in connection with the murder investigation of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd, who was found dead in an industrial park a short distance away from Hernandez's North Attleboro, Mass., home Monday.
Police believe that Hernandez may have intentionally destroyed evidence of the two being together before the murder.
"He destroyed his home security system," an investigator told ABC News of Hernandez. Police initially searched the home for three hours but returned with a new warrant when they learned of the smashed security system.
Hernandez's cell phone was turned over to police "in pieces" by his attorneys, the source added. It could be a critical piece of evidence linking Hernandez to Lloyd. The two were friends, but police have not ruled Hernandez out as a murder suspect.
"He (Hernandez) has not been ruled out. We are not calling him a suspect, but he is definitely not in the clear," one police official told ABC News.
Hernandez was seen partying with Lloyd at a Boston nightclub on Friday night; police reviewed the surveillance video from the club in order to put together a timeline of Lloyd's last days and hours. He was found dead, shot in the back of the head, around 5:30 p.m. Monday by a jogger. Police believe he was killed between 1:00 and 6:00 a.m. that morning.
At least 10 police cars surrounded the home during the search on Tuesday night, according to Sports Illustrated. Two men, who were at Hernandez's home before the search began, attempted to leave the premises but were escorted away individually by police instead. Hernandez remained in the home during the search. A spokeswoman for the Patriots declined comment.
"I am aware of the reports," Patriots spokesman Stacey James said in a statement issued by the team, "but I do not anticipate that we will be commenting publicly during an ongoing police investigation."