“[O]fficers observed a body floating on the north side of the dam entangled in a log jam,” a Fort Wayne Police Department press statement said on Wednesday.
Hardy’s body is at the Northeast Indiana Forensic Center, which is still attempting to determine a cause and manner of death.
Hardy grew up in the Fort Wayne area, becoming a standout high school athlete in both football and basketball, before enrolling at Indiana University to play both sports. He eventually devoted all of his talents to football, and set receiving records at IU for career receptions, yards and touchdowns, all three of which remain intact today.
Hardy caught the eye of the Bills during his junior year in 2008 when the team drafted him in the second round. He played in 14 games his rookie year, including three starts, but caught just nine passes out of 24 throws targeted at him for 87 yards and two touchdowns. He played in just two games the next season, catching one pass for nine yards.
After being released by the Bills in 2010, Hardy briefly signed with the Baltimore Ravens but was released before the season started.
Since then, Hardy had fallen on tough times, culminating in 2014 when he was arrested on felony charges after attacking police officers who responded to a disturbing the peace call at his Los Angeles home. He was later ordered to undergo treatment at a mental health facility.
Hardy’s condition at the time of his death is unknown, although his family realized he was missing May 30 and reported it to the police, NewsChannel 15 reports.
Reaction to Hardy’s death came fast online on Thursday, including from the Bills’ and Indiana University Twitter accounts.
A Hoosiers fan site also tweeted about Hardy’s death, but chose to remember a high point in his life by posting video of a record-breaking touchdown from last decade against Michigan State.