(USA Today) With former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez facing arraignment next Wednesday for the 2012 double slaying of two Boston men, Boston police and Suffolk County prosecutors are seeking assistance from tattoo artists who may have inked the former Patriots tight end in the aftermath of the shooting deaths of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado.
According to a statement released by Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley's office, the artists being sought are considered witnesses only and are not accused of any wrongdoing.
Investigators hope 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 known to have traveled to Hermosa Beach, California; Bristol, Connecticut; Palm Beach and Miami, Florida; Boston Massachusetts; and Rhode Island in that time period.
How will the investigation of the tattoo artist or artists help link Hernandez to the double slaying?
"It's the tattoo artist who gave him a tattoo on his right forearm, but we're not saying what the tattoo was,'' Jake Wark, press secretary for the Suffolk County DA's office, told USA TODAY Sports.
"We don't want to influence the statements of anyone who might have this information. So we're not being specific in which tattoo we're looking at. What we hope to learn really we want to get unvarnished, unrehearsed observations from any tattoo artists. It could provide information of an evidenciary value.
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Boston Police Sgt. Marc Sullivan at 617-343-5839.
Hernandez will be arraigned on two counts of first-degree murder, three counts of armed assault with intent to murder and single counts of assault and battery with a dangerous and unlawful possession of a firearm.
As to why the arraignment was scheduled for 2 p.m. May 28 in a courtroom to be determined at the Suffolk County Courthouse instead of this week as was initially expected, Wark said it had to do with the scheduling of Hernandez's defense team.
Will Hernandez be at next week's arraignment?
"We would expect so,'' Wark said.
Hernandez's cousin, Tanya Singleton is expected to be arraigned on a additional indictment for criminal contempt of court on June 2.