The Tragic Details Behind Toya Wright's Ex and Former NFL Wide Receiver James Hardy's Death

James Hardy

The Tragic Details Behind Toya Wright's Ex and Former NFL Wide Receiver James Hardy's Death

Here's what authorities think happened.

Published June 9, 2017

A tragic loss for the NFL community.

Former wide receiver James Hardy was found dead in the Maumee River in Indiana on Wednesday days after his mother reported him missing on May 30, as reported by ESPN.

Yesterday he was identified by the Allen County (Indiana) coroner's office as the former NFL wideout. According to the Fort Wayne Police Department, Hardy's body was lodged in a dam in the river, although the exact cause of his death has yet to be determined. Authority sources told TMZ Sports that Hardy's body appears to have been in the water for several days. He was 31 years old. He was also the ex-boyfriend of Toya Wright.

After being selected by the Buffalo Bills as a second-round, 41st-overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft, Hardy went on to play two seasons for the team.

After his NFL career, Hardy was arrested for attacking police officers in 2014 and later committed to a mental facility.

Upon learning of his death, everyone from Wright to the Bills, Indiana University, where he played football and basketball, and his former college teammate Bryan Payton sent their condolences to the late wideout's family.

Before James and I were ever teammates, we were opponents and competed in one of the most epic games of my career. I'll never forget presenting this picture to him and the laugh he gave! It's a pic from me leaping in front of him to make an interception in High School. He signed it for me before heading off to the NFL. In college, during our numerous rides together back to Fort Wayne, we would talk about our lives, families, goals, hopes, and dreams. And of course plenty of football. He believed in me and, in a way, gave me permission to be great at a time when I began to doubt myself. James was an inspiration to me and many others. Always a competitor, and always the man... Even if I did get this one interception in HS. This picture means a lot to me for the moment we shared among many others. I will NEVER forget James Hardy. He is missed. Prayers to his family, friends, and all our fellow teammates. #IUFB

A post shared by Bryan Douglas Payton (@pops__27) on

Condolences to his family and friends.

BET Sports News — Get the latest news and information about African-Americans in sports, including weekly recaps, celebrity news and photos of your favorite Black athletes.

Written by BET Staff

(Photo: NFL via Getty Images)

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