As the NFL Draft nears its start, the number of top prospects who are suddenly having legal issues continues to grow. The latest to join the list is LSU offensive tackle La'el Collins, who today decided to leave Chicago, where he was expected to be among the prospects to attend the selection process, in order to return to Louisiana, where he will cooperate with police in the investigation into the murder of his ex-girlfriend.
Collins leaving the Draft was first reported by NFL.com's Ian Rapoport.
Bator Rouge Police are investigating the death of Brittany Mills, who was eight months pregnant when she was shot multiple times last Friday. The baby was delivered following the shooting and is currently undergoing medical treatment.
Teams were told of the investigation, and Collins' link to the victim, on Tuesday, according to NFL.com's Gregg Rosenthal. Included in that notification was the fact that the police do not consider Collins a suspect in the murder, and appear to be trying to determine paternity of the baby. Teams were told Collins has not had contact with Mills since September.
He had been scheduled to take a paternity test early next week, but that schedule may be accelerated now that he is leaving Chicago.
Police spokesman Corporal Don Coppola echoed the non-suspect status when he told NFL.com's Albert Breer, "He's not a suspect, but we are seeking to question him. He knew the victim. We're not sure of the exact nature of the relationship. But for the investigation and through the investigation, we're exhausting all avenues to locate this young lady's killer."
The police have said Collins is just one of many people they are trying to talk to with regards to Mills as they progress in the investigation.
"We have identified where La'el was the day the lady was murdered to establish he was nowhere around," Collins' attorney Jim Boren told ESPN Tuesday. "We have offered to give names, witnesses who can vouch for his whereabouts that day until after the woman's body was discovered. We believe that when (police) have verified that information, that they will rule him out as a suspect in the homicide, just as I believe he should be."