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Former Buffalo Bills WR James Hardy's Indiana river death ruled a suicide

By The Sports Xchange
Former Buffalo Bills WR James Hardy's Indiana river death ruled a suicide
Former Buffalo Bills wide receiver James Hardy (81) leaps and catches a pass over Miami Dolphins safety Will Allen (25) in first quarter action at Dolphin Stadium in Miami on October 26, 2008. File photo by Richard Wasserman/UPI | License Photo

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.

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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 his body.

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.

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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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