Former Bills WR found dead in Indiana

Buffalo Bills' James Hardy runs after a catch during NFL football practice in Orchard Park, N.Y., Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2009. (AP Photo/David Duprey)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — An autopsy conducted by the Allen County Coroner’s Office has confirmed the identity of a body found in the Maumee River Wednesday as that of James W. Hardy, 31, of Fort Wayne.

The coroner’s office was not able to determine Hardy’s cause and manner of death.

Police and fire rescue crews were called to the Maumee River at the Hosey Dam Wednesday on a report of a possible body in the water there. Michael Joyner, FWPD Public Information Officer, said an employee with the City’s water Filtration Plant conducting his regular rounds made the discovery as he walked along the catwalk and called police.

Hardy was a former multi-sport standout at Elmhurst High School. He graduated in 2004 and then went on to play football at Indiana University as a wide receiver and was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in 2008 after entering the draft following his junior year. He also played for the Baltimore Ravens before being released in 2011.

While at Elmhurst, he was part of a football team that had the longest losing streak in state history. However the team snapped that streak in part due to Hardy’s tremendous talent.

TMZ reported in May of 2014 that Hardy was arrested after attacking three officers. A judge ruled that he was not mentally competent to stand trial in a case where he faces a felony charge for resisting arrest during the incident. It’s not known how that judicial process played out.

This story was originally published by WANE, a Nexstar contributing station. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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