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Hernandez loses endorsement deal as police continue probe into killing

Jim Rogash / Getty Images

Aaron Hernandez of the New England Patriots  in 2012

Aaron Hernandez, the star New England Patriots tight end, lost his first endorsement deal Friday as police spent a fourth day investigating a killing near his home.

CytoSport, a sports nutrition company whose products include Muscle Milk, said in a statement that it was ending its contract “in light of the investigation involving Aaron Hernandez.”

Hernandez also has a two-year endorsement deal with Puma, the sportswear company, announced earlier this year. A Puma spokeswoman said Friday that the company was aware of the situation but had no comment.

Meanwhile, police made another visit to Hernandez’s home, about a mile from where a body of a man was found in an industrial park earlier this week.

Two state police officers showed up at the home, in North Attleborough, Mass., at midday. They knocked on the door, were inside for about a minute and left. It was not clear whether Hernandez was at the house.

The body found was that of Odin Lloyd, 27. Friends and family told NBC affiliate WHDH that he had an unspecified connection to Hernandez. A jogger found the body Monday, and police have made several visits to the Hernandez home since. The death was ruled a homicide earlier this week.

Dominick Reuter / Reuters

The house of New England Patriots football player Aaron Hernandez, in North Attleborough, Mass.

Video images taken hours before the body was found appear to show Hernandez and the victim together in Boston, The Boston Globe reported Friday, citing unnamed law enforcement officials. NBC News could not confirm the report.

On Thursday, reporters and news helicopters tailed Hernandez all day — on an hour-long visit to Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, at a gas station and on a trip to the Boston office building where his lawyers work. Hernandez did not talk to reporters.

Separately, a federal lawsuit filed in Florida last week accuses Hernandez of shooting a friend, Alexander Bradley, after an argument while they were driving from a Miami strip club to Palm Beach in February.

Bradley, who is recovering at home in Connecticut, is seeking $75,000 in damages from Hernandez, his lawyer told NBC News earlier this week. A police report said Bradley was found bleeding from his head.

Hernandez, 23, was a fourth-round draft pick of the Patriots in 2010 and was named to the Pro Bowl in his second season. He caught 51 passes last year for 483 yards and scored five touchdowns.

The Patriots signed him to a five-year contract extension last summer that is worth as much as $40 million through 2018 and included a $12.5 million signing bonus, according to The Globe.

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