In this December 12, 2005, photo, Aaron Hernandez poses for a photo in Bristol, Conn.

July 16, 2012: An SUV pulls up to a BMW on an overpass in South Boston and someone sprays a volley of bullets into the sedan, according to the Boston Globe.

(CNN) - Former New England Patriots star and convicted killer Aaron Hernandez is dead today.

(AP Photo/Winslow Townson, File). FILE - In this Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012, file photo, New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez puts on a Super Bowl cap following the AFC Championship NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens in Foxborough, Mas.

Hernandez, who was serving a life sentence for murder, apparently killed himself in his prison cell on Wednesday. It's not clear what they may have discussed.

The body of the 27-year-old former athlete was found hanging from a bed sheet at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts.

Fallon said he was not aware of any suicide note and officials had no reason to believe Hernandez was suicidal.

The question of why Hernandez would end his own life might go unanswered.

Investigators said Hernandez was in a single cell in a general population housing unit when he was found.

August 27, 2012: Hernandez signs a $40 million contract with the Patriots - and immediately donates $50,000 to a Patriots' charity.

The Worcester County district attorney's office and the Correction Department are investigating. State police spokesman Dave Procopio also cites the "active" investigation.

"There's no reason to withhold the brain", he said in front of the state medical examiner's office in Boston.

Hernandez's body was released to the Faggas Funeral Home in Watertown following the autopsy.

MA state police say they have launched an investigation into former National Football League star Aaron Hernandez's death by hanging in prison.

He was already serving a life sentence without possibility of parole for the separate killing of his close friend Odin Lloyd - a conviction he was appealing. The one-time star tight end for the new England patriots Aaron Hernandez was found dead in his prison cell this morning on the same day when his former teammates from the patriots were at the white house celebrating a super bowl win.

'The family and legal team is shocked and surprised at the news of Aaron's death, ' Baez said in a statement obtained by Many were searching for an explanation to the tragic end of a young man whose football skills at one point earned him a five-year, $40 million contract extension with the NFL's top franchise.

"Aaron was looking forward to an opportunity for a second chance to prove his innocence" in an appeal of the 2013 verdict, Baez said.

'We are heartbroken and we are determined to find the truth. The family wanted to bring the brain to Boston University for further study, Baez said, and he is concerned that the findings could be compromised by the delay.

Friends were grieving in CT, where Hernandez was raised.

Witnesses at Hernandez's two murder trials painted a picture of a troubled man who often used illegal narcotics and at times believed strangers were challenging or disrespecting him. "That was a positive thing in our minds", said Alex Cugno, who grew up with Hernandez in Bristol. "It just doesn't add up".