Check for delays and closings here

About 50 people attend Aaron Hernandez’s funeral; family thanks public for condolences

BRISTOL — Former NFL player Aaron Hernandez‘s hometown said their final farewell to him.

A private funeral service was held Monday for the former New England Patriots tight end, who was found hanged in his cell in a maximum-security prison in Massachusetts last week. Hernandez was serving a life sentence for a 2013 murder and had just been acquitted of a 2012 double murder. His death has been ruled a suicide.

NFL players and twins Mike and Maurkice Pouncey were among the 50 people who paid final respects to Hernandez. Mike is a center for the Miami Dolphins, and Maurkice plays the same position for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Hernandez’s family expressed thanks to the public for its empathy and understanding. Ronald Sullivan, one of Hernandez’s lawyers, read a statement Monday thanking people for their “thoughtful expressions of condolences.”

Sullivan says Hernandez’s family appreciates being able to say their final goodbyes in privacy. He said “They love him and they miss him.”

Services were held at a funeral home in Bristol. The burial will be private at an undisclosed location.

Scientists at Boston University are studying Hernandez’s brain for any signs of repeated trauma suffered during his years of playing football.