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Ex-NFL player, IU star Hardy’s family sad, ‘not surprised’ he died by suicide

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – James Hardy’s mother and sister said they are sad but not shocked he died by suicide.

“I love you baby and I know you’re up there. I love you honey. You’re in good hands with God. I don’t have to tell him he already knows,” his mother, Jeanie Summerville said.

Regardless of how her son’s life ended, she’s still a proud mother. “He’s happy now. He’s happy.”

Wednesday afternoon, the Allen County Coroner determined Hardy died by suicide. Summerville said Hardy was sad the weeks leading up to his death for a few reasons, including the decline of his NFL career and missing his children who he didn’t have full custody of.

“He would cry every day because he missed his children and I don’t think it’s right for mothers to do that to dads,” Summerville said.

Although the family is hurting, they aren’t shocked.

“I’m not surprised only because for a while he had the blues, and what I call the blues is cases of unhappiness that causes hearts to hurt,” Summerville added.

The chief investigator at the coroner’s office said they have five choices for manner of death: homicide, suicide, natural, accidental or undetermined. He told 24-Hour News 8’s sister station WANE that homicide and natural were ruled out. They took a look at the past history both medical and psychological to get a mental state of Hardy. They also spoke with his mother and developed a timeline as well as certain evidence that was found both away from the body and on it.

Hardy didn’t leave a note.

“Too many people, they give signs and they have an outcry for help, but we being people, we are too busy with our lives or whatever else is going on that we might not see that,” his sister Johanna said.

His sister and mother both said now that this is out, everyone can move forward.

“I’m just happy he’s at peace,” Johanna said.

“I miss him psychically. But as far as his love, he’s with me. He’ll always be with me,” Jeanie said.

Jeanie is a cancer survivor and is having a benefit for patients and survivors. Hardy was supposed to be her date. The benefit is Saturday July 22nd 3 p.m. to 5 p.m at the Summit Event Center Dining Room. Call 260-515-5293 for more information.

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