The death of former Buffalo Bills wide receiver James Hardy has
been ruled a suicide in Indiana.
The Allen County Coroner’s Office said in a statement Wednesday
that the cause of Hardy’s death was asphyxia due to drowning and
the manner of death was suicide.
Hardy’s body was found June 7 in the Maumee River in Fort Wayne. He
was 31. Hardy’s mother reported him missing May 30.
Chief Investigator Michael Burris said the determination of suicide
was based on Hardy’s medical and psychiatric history, his contacts
with law enforcement and other evidence, including some found on
Hardy, who is from Fort Wayne, was a star college wideout at
Indiana and caught 191 passes for 2,740 yards and 36 touchdowns
from 2005-07. He led the Big Ten in receiving touchdowns in each of
his final two seasons, including 16 in 2007.
Hardy played two seasons for the Bills after he was a second-round
pick in 2008. He appeared in 16 games (three starts) in his NFL
career, all with the Bills, catching 10 passes for 96 yards and two
touchdowns. He also spent time with the Baltimore Ravens, but he
never played for them in a regular-season game.
In 2014, Hardy was arrested after attacking three police officers
in Los Angeles. A judge ruled he wasn’t mentally competent to stand
trial, and he reportedly spent time in a mental health facility.