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Former Buffalo Bills WR James Hardy found dead in river

By The Sports Xchange
Former Buffalo Bills WR James Hardy found dead in river
Former Buffalo Bills wide receiver James Hardy (81) leaps and catches a pass over Miami Dolphins safety Will Allen (25) in first quarter action against the Dolphins. Hardy was found dead in a river Thursday. File photo by Richard Wasserman/UPI | License Photo

Former Buffalo Bills receiver James Hardy was found dead in an Indiana river, authorities said Thursday. He was 31.

Hardy's body was found Wednesday afternoon in the Maumee River in Fort Wayne. The body was discovered by a water filtration plant worker.

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Hardy's body was lodged in a dam. Fort Wayne police believe it had been in the water for several days.

Hardy was reported missing by his mother on May 30.

Fort Wayne police are investigating whether foul play was involved.

Hardy, who is from Fort Wayne, was a second-round pick by the Bills in 2008 but didn't pan out in the NFL. He caught 10 passes for 96 yards and two touchdowns in 16 NFL games over two seasons.

"We are saddened to learn of the passing of James Hardy today," the Bills said in a statement. "We send our condolences to the Hardy family as they deal with this tragic loss."

Hardy 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.

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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.

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