Suffolk County prosecutors are trying to find out who tattooed the right forearm of Aaron Hernandez, the former New England Patriots star charged with killing two men in Boston in 2012 and a third man in North Attleborough in 2013.
In a statement released Wednesday, Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s office said investigators wanted to speak with the artist or artists “who provided Hernandez with specific tattoos on his right forearm between February 2012 and June 2013.”
Hernandez is accused of shooting two Boston men to death on July 16, 2012, while they sat in a car stopped at a traffic light in Boston’s South End. He is also accused of killing a Boston man in North Attleborough on June 17, 2013.
Conley’s office would not describe the tattoos that investigators are curious about, but did stress that the artist or artists are being sought as witnesses, not as suspects in any crime.
“In order not to taint any potential statements, authorities are not publicly describing the specific tattoos or the nature of the inquiry — only that the artists may have made observations of evidentiary value in the pending Suffolk County murder prosecutions,” a press release from Conley’s office stated.
Officials have also asked tattoo trade magazines to alert their readers about the search.
Prosecutors said Hernandez traveled across the country frequently, including visits to Hermosa Beach, Calif.; Palm Beach and Miami Beach, Fla.; Rhode Island; and his hometown of Bristol, Conn.
Hernandez is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the July 2012 slayings of Daniel Abreu and Safiro Furtado, two Dorchester men who Conley has said were innocent victims of a ruthless killer who ambushed the lifelong friends returning home from a night out in Boston.
Hernandez is to be arraigned on those charges in Suffolk Superior Court in Boston on May 28.
Officials are asking anyone with information about the tattoo artist or artists who may have tattooed Hernandez to contact Boston Police Sergeant Detective Marc Sullivan at 617-343-5839.
Hernandez is already being held without bail at the Bristol County jail, where his tattoos were examined to see if they showed he was connected to a gang, an inquiry that jail officials have said ended without discovering any gang link.
Hernandez is awaiting trial on a first-degree murder charge in the death of Odin L. Lloyd of Dorchester, whose body was found in a North Attleborough industrial park a short distance from Hernandez’s home. Lloyd had gotten into a car with Hernandez and two other men in Boston a few hours earlier.