The SUV at the center of the double murder trial of Aaron Hernandez is no longer available on the eBay auction website where it had gathered bids exceeding $100,000 before the company deleted the listing.
“eBay pulled the ad off,’’ said Buddy Clair, owner of Westford Auto Sales who had posted the SUV for sale. “I have no idea why.’’
Clair said he learned the posting had been removed Tuesday night around 10 p.m. when he went to check on it. He has written to eBay asking for an explanation for the removal, but still wasn’t sure what the company’s reasoning was.
According to a cached version of the posting, 115 bids had been offered on the SUV and bidding had reached $101,005 before eBay terminated the auction orignally scheduled to end Sunday.
Clair said he did not yet know what will happen to the SUV, but said the goal remains selling the vehicle at its retail value of around $20,000 or at a higher price from collectors. He said the SUV may be auctioned through a different outlet.
“It’s valuable to somebody and somebody should have the right to own it without being criticized,’’ Clair said. “If we got lucky on this and sold it, we had talked about donating to the people that were involved in the history of it.”
He added, “at this point, we just have no idea what’s going to be done with it. We will make a decison later today.’’
The posting described the vehicle this way:
“This is the REAL DEAL !!! ,” the eBay listing read. “Aaron Hernandez’ infamous silver Toyota 4-runner. As seen in the New York Times, we’re auctioning off this piece of Patriots football memorabilia ... The Toyota is just the way it came from the [Boston police] impound yard, and still has the black soot on the map lights, and sunroof switch where the police dusted for finger prints!! The SUV has 53,000 miles on the odometer, and runs great !! The winner of the auction will also receive a framed jersey autographed, by Hernandez himself.”
Suffolk County prosecutors had alleged that Hernandez was in the front passenger seat of the 4Runner when he fired five shots into a BMW in Boston on July 16, 2012, killing Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado.
Hernandez was acquitted of murdering the men on April 14. Five days later, he hanged himself at Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley. Hernandez was serving a life sentence for the murder of Odin L. Lloyd in 2013.
Jack Fox, a Rhode Island car dealer, had leased the 4Runner to Hernandez as part of a promotional agreement, which called for Hernandez to sign memorabilia and make corporate appearances. Clair is handing the sale on Fox’s behalf, he told the Globe.
John R. Ellement can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.