BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - La'el Collins will leave Chicago early and return to Baton Rouge to speak with police about the death of a pregnant woman, ESPN and the NFL Network reported Wednesday. However, BRPD say they have not yet been contacted by Collins, his agent or his attorney.
Although police say he is not a suspect in the case, they hope 21-year-old La'el Collins can give them more information about 29-year-old Brittney Mills as they search for her killer. Collins, a former LSU football player, is considered to be a first round pick in this week's NFL draft.
Although police could not elaborate on the exact nature of the former relationship between Collins and Mills, they do believe the two were at one time romantically linked.
Collins, who started as LSU's left tackle the past two seasons, is ranked as the third-best offensive tackle in this year's draft. The Redemptorist High School graduate and finalist for WAFB's Warrick Dunn award is expected to receive a first-round signing bonus of more than $4 million.
Mills, who was 8-months pregnant, was shot and killed last Friday at her home located in the 200 block of Ship Drive. It happened shortly after 10:30 p.m. Police say it is not known who the baby's father is. The NFL Network reports Collins is expected to take a paternity test as part of the police investigation. Baton Rouge police will not comment on that possibility.
Investigators believe that she opened her door to her apartment and was shot by an unknown suspect who fled the scene. Mills was taken to a local hospital where her unborn child was removed. The baby remains under medical care.
BRPD Cpl. Don Coppola said they believe the killer asked to borrow Mills's car and shot her when she denied. He added that police do not have any suspects in the case.
When WAFB contacted Collins by text message Tuesday, he replied that he was in Atlanta boarding a plane for Chicago and that his agent would be contacting the station for comment. His agent has not yet done so.
"We have identified where La'el was the day the lady was murdered to establish he was nowhere around," attorney Jim Boren told ESPN. "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."
If you know anything about this incident, call Crime Stoppers at (225) 344-STOP (7867).