Aaron Hernandez seen in court in April 2015, facing charges of murder in the death of Odin Lloyd. He was convicted of the crime but that was overturned after his April 2017 suicide.

Photo: Reuters

Family and close friends of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez will gather in Bristol, Connecticut, on Monday for a private funeral in his hometown.

 

Right before attendees gathered at the O’Brien Funeral Home in Bristol, officials announced that the notes found in Hernandez's cell have been released to his family, ABC News reports

 

 

 

 

Hernandez, 27, was pronounced dead last week after officials at Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts, found him hanged in his cell. Officials later said that they found three hand-written notes next to a Bible in Hernandez's cell, a detail of which the family was not previously informed. Now, the notes have been released to the family.

The invitation-only service will be held Monday afternoon, the Boston Globe reports

Hernandez's body arrived Saturday at the Connecticut funeral home. The burial will also be private and at an undisclosed location, according to WCVB.

In a statement sent to reporters, Hernandez's family asked for privacy and thanked the public for their support.

“The family of Aaron Hernandez wishes to thank all of you for the thoughtful expressions of condolences,” the statement said. “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.”

Hernandez was serving a life sentence for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd at the time of his death on Wednesday. Authorities have ruled it a suicide. Only days before, Hernandez was acquitted of the 2012 double murder of Daniel de Abrue and Safiro Furtado. 

Though a Massachusetts law will vacate Hernandez's murder conviction, all families of the victims still have wrongful death lawsuits pending against Hernandez's estate.