Aaron Hernandez’s body returned to Connecticut Saturday, funeral held Monday

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BRISTOL—  The body of former New England Patriots star and Bristol native, Aaron Hernandez, will be transferred to O'Brien's Funeral Home in Bristol Saturday.

A private visitation and funeral will be held Monday afternoon, only for family and friends. The family said in a statement:

The family of Aaron Hernandez wishes to thank all of you for the thoughtful expressions of condolences. We wish to say goodbye to Aaron in a private ceremony and thank everyone in advance for affording us a measure of privacy during this difficult time.

The transfer of Hernandez’s body comes a day after Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Henry Nields performed an autopsy and concluded that the manner of death was suicide.

Earlier Thursday, Hernandez’s laywer Jose Baez said the medical examiner was “illegally” keeping his brain.

Hernandez was found dead in his cell Wednesday morning, five days after a jury acquitted him in the 2012 shooting deaths of two men whom prosecutors alleged he gunned down after one accidentally spilled a drink on him at a Boston nightclub. He was already serving a life sentence for the murder of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd.

Hernandez was locked in his cell about 8 p.m. Tuesday and no one entered the cell until a correction officer observed him at 3:03 a.m. and forced his way through the door, the DA said. Investigators said they found three hand-written notes next to a Bible in the cell.