Police have reopened their investigation into the death of former NFL linebacker Mike Labinjo, which is now deemed suspicious, years after they were told he died in his sleep.
Labinjo, who also played in the Canadian Football League, was 38 years old when he was found dead in his Calgary home in September 2018. A friend initially claimed he passed away in his sleep, according to Fox News.
Labinjo played with the Philadelphia Eagles when the team won the NFC Championship in 2005 and he later won a Grey Cup with the Calgary Stampeders.
Canadian police had no reason to suspect the death was a criminal matter until they recently discovered several items and memorabilia, including Labinjo's 2005 NFC Championship and Grey Cup rings, had been stolen from his home.
This, coupled with security footage obtained from the building the morning of his death, has raised suspicion and prompted police to revisit the investigation into Labinjo's death and the theft, reported The Globe and Mail.
"Through testing with the medical examiner's office and through other information that we've received, we've now looked at the totality of circumstances surrounding Michael's death and are investigating this as a suspicious death," Calgary Police Staff Sergeant Michael Schiavetta said on Monday. "What we're trying to determine is if Michael's death was intentional and if that intentional death was used to facilitate the theft of his personal items."
Labinjo's mother, Margaret, was devastated upon hearing the news.
"Michael, you did not deserve to die this way. I am going to make sure whoever did this to you are held responsible. I will fight to the end for justice to be served," she said. "If anyone has information about my son's death, please pick up the phone and call the Calgary police and let them know. If you are in any way responsible for what happened to Michael, please, I'm begging you, turn yourself into the Calgary police."
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.