MEMPHIS, TN -- In southeast Memphis, cars lined the street outside the home of Lorenzen Wright's father Wednesday afternoon, July 28, 2010. Family and friends gathered there to comfort one another as word spread about the discovery of a body in a field near Hacks Cross Road and Winchester Road.
Memphis police have not confirmed a link between that investigation and Wright's recent disappearance. His mother reported him missing last Thursday, and said no one in the family had spoken to him since the 18th. Family and friends believe the body discovered today does belong to Wright, a former Memphis Grizzlies star and NBA standout.
“I heard based on some tattoos and distinguishing marks that they did think it was him," said family friend Catrina Hampton, who joined the crowd of mourners at Wright’s father’s home. “I had been following the story for the last few days, and I'd driven by earlier, around noon today. I didn't really see any cars over here, so I thought everything was pretty much okay.”
But later, “I saw all the cars here so I knew something was going on,” she said.
“I got out and I talked to a couple of his cousins, and found out that it had happened,” she said. “I'm heartbroken, I mean, I'm shocked. I can't believe it. I just can’t believe it.”
Earlier in the day, screams and wails erupted from the other side of the door of the Collierville home where Wright’s ex-wife and six children live.
Hampton says all who knew and loved Wright are “just hurt" right now.
Hurt, but not alone.
“Their family is extremely large, so I'm sure that everybody has somebody to lean on," she said.
The Collierville Police Department was investigating Lorenzen's disappearance as a missing persons case, but today the department's spokesman said now they're forwarding all questions about this case to Memphis police.