Police: Aaron Hernandez's Tattoos Could Hold Clues

(NECN: Kathryn Sotnik) - Prosecutors in the Aaron Hernandez murder investigation are turning to tattoo artists to shed some light on the former Patriots’ body art.

The Suffolk County District Attorney's Office made their request Wednesday.

They’re looking to talk to the tattoo artists who provided Hernandez with "specific tattoos" in the aftermath of the 2012 homicides of Daniel Abreu and Safiro Furtado.

Prosecutors say the tattoos were inked on Hernandez’s right forearm between February 2012 and June 2013.

Just last week, Hernandez was charged with two counts of murder in those killings.

Prosecutors won't publicly describe those specific tattoos or the nature of their inquiry, but say certain tattoo artists may have made "observations," that could be used as evidence against Hernandez.

The public got a better look Hernandez’s tattoos last summer, when he was hauled into an Attleboro courtroom after being charged with Odin Lloyd’s murder.

A visible tattoo on his right hand says "blood" in red. Not too far from that, the word "sweat"

At the Bristol County House of Correction, where Hernandez is being jailed, Sheriff Thomas Hodgson says Hernandez’s tattoos have been assessed for gang affiliations.

"He was not determined specifically that he was, according to my gang people, necessarily associated with a gang," said Hodgson.

The D.A.'s Office says Hernandez is known to have traveled to Hermosa Beach, California, Bristol, Connecticut, Palm Beach and Miami in Florida, Boston and Rhode Island.

The Boston Tattoo Company in Somerville has no relation to the Hernandez investigation, but owner Jason Zube says he's not surprised with the D.A.'s request.

"You'd be surprised with what some people tell you," said Zube.

He says people spend hours in the chair sometimes.

"Tattooing is a very personal thing and those people are going to have to walk away with your work, and live with it the rest of your life, so there is a unique relationship between the tattoo artist and a client."

The D.A.'s Office says the artists being sought are considered witnesses only and are not accused of any wrongdoing.

Zube says his shop is overly cautious and extremely reputable with the services they provide.

They will not ink any gang signs, or anything similar, and he says most tattoos are done for good reasons.

"Usually the reason for a tattoo is pretty positive, usually people get a tattoo to feel better about the situation or feel a little bit better about themselves," said Zube.

Anyone with any information should contact Boston Police Sgt. Detective Marc Sullivan at 617-343-5839.

Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to Lloyd's murder and is awaiting trial.

He hasn't been formally arraigned in Suffolk County yet, but will be next Wednesday.

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