January 16, 2014 / 9:24 PM / 5 years ago

Connecticut police seek evidence tying ex-NFL star to 2012 slayings: reports

Aaron Hernandez, former player for the NFL's New England Patriots football team, attends a pre-trial hearing at the Bristol County Superior Court in Fall River, Massachusetts October 9, 2013, in connection with the death of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd in June. Hernandez, who was a rising star in the NFL before his arrest and release by the Patriots, has pleaded not guilty. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

BOSTON (Reuters) - Connecticut police have searched a car looking for evidence that could link ex-National Football League star Aaron Hernandez, who is awaiting trial on a 2013 murder, with an unsolved 2012 drive-by shooting in Boston, local media reported on Thursday.

Court papers unsealed in Bristol, Connecticut, showed that police searched a silver SUV owned by Hernandez’ uncle because they “believe that Aaron Hernandez was operating the suspect vehicle used in the shooting homicides of Daniel Abreu and Safiro Furtado and may have been the shooter,” the Boston Globe reported, citing the court papers.

The papers could not be immediately obtained by Reuters.

Hernandez was a top tight end for the New England Patriots before he was arrested last June and charged with the execution-style murder of Odin Lloyd, an associate and semi-professional football player.

Hernandez, who was dropped by the Patriots shortly after his arrest, has pleaded not guilty to charges including the Lloyd killing and firearms violations.

Law enforcement officials had previously confirmed that police were investigating whether Hernandez was involved in the July 2012 murder of Abreu and Furtado, who were killed in a hail of bullets while driving in a BMW sedan through Boston’s theater district.

Reporting by Scott Malone, editing by G Crosse

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