Mystery deepens as body of missing US athlete is located

Andrew Reid
·3-min read
Pictured here, Louis Nix III in action during a college football game for Notre Dame.
Louis Nix III died at the age of 29 after authorities found his body in Florida on Saturday. Pic: Twitter

The body of missing American athlete Louis Nix III has been discovered as the late 29-year-old's family plead for answers about his mysterious death.

Nix III was last week declared missing after five days as posters were found seeking any information on his whereabouts.

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The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office then posted an updated tweet late on Saturday to say he'd been located but didn't give any other details.

An emailed request from The Associated Press for more information wasn't answered.

Nix's mother, Stephanie Wingfield, told multiple Jacksonville news outlets on Sunday that authorities said her son died but haven't been able to tell her how.

Family members say his car was pulled out of a pond near his home on Saturday.

Video from local news stations shows crews removing a silver sedan from the water. The vehicle matches the description of the car authorities said Nix was possibly driving. It's unclear whether his body was inside.

“They said they couldn’t give me any more information,” his mother told a Jacksonville television network. 

In an interview with the Florida Times-Union, Ms Wingfield claimed police said “it didn't look like foul play.”

Seen here, Louis Nix III in his American football gear and the posters put up in Jacksonville to try and locate him.
Louis Nix III was declared missing before his body was eventually discovered in Florida. Pic: Getty/Twitter

The tragic death comes after Nix was shot during a robbery in Jacksonville in December. 

In a live video he posted while being transported to hospital at the time, Nix he was shot and robbed while putting air in his tires.

“If I do not make it, I really love everybody. I can’t contact nobody right now, and I am glad they are putting it on the line for me. I love you all,” he said.

The next morning, Nix wrote on social media: “The bullet that hit me ricocheted off my sternum into my lung.”

Nix was released from the hospital on the 19th of December and was in physical therapy in the weeks following the incident.

Player a cult hero at Notre Dame

Nix was a Notre Dame star for three years while he established himself as one of the top linebackers in the country.

The Houston Texans then picked him up in the third round of the NFL draft in 2014.

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Nix played for the Texans, New York Giants, Washington Football Team and Jacksonville Jaguars between 2014 and 2017, before his professional career was cut short due to injury.

Nicknamed “Irish Chocolate,” Nix became a fan favourite while at Notre Dame. Asked about him in 2013, head coach Brian Kelly described Nix as “this big, jolly guy always hugging me and stuff.”

During a news conference Monday, Kelly said the school and team was trying to piece together what happened to Nix.

“We can look back on his time here and know that there was a spirit, there was an energy,” Kelly said. 

“There was a vibrant young man that passed through these hallways here. And that’s what we choose to remember.”

Kelly said he and others from the team had been in regular contact with Nix since the December shooting.

“He seemed to be in good spirits,” Kelly said. “We weren’t getting any negative reports in terms of where he was.”

Nix's mother told a Jacksonville TV network that his charisma carried on past his football career.

“People wanted autographs. He wasn’t ever too busy, always gave an autograph. Always took time to talk to people,” Wingfield said.

with AP

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