Lorenzen Wright Died of Gunshot Wound, Ruled Homicide
The discovery of the body was part of coordinated -- albeit delayed -- effort by a handful of law enforcement agencies who gathered Wednesday morning, hours before their search uncovered Wright's remains.
"Through identification of dental records, the Shelby County Medical Examiner has officially identified the victim as that of Lorenzen Wright," Police Department lieutenant Alan Ruhl said in the news release. "The cause of death has been ruled as homicide by gunshot wound."
The release was the first in which authorities identified Wright, 34, as the body found in southeast Memphis Wednesday afternoon.
Wright was last seen by his ex-wife shortly before midnight on July 18, and family members filed a missing persons report on July 22. Police reportedly didn't originally suspect foul play until a 911 call taken by Germantown, Tenn., dispatcher during the early morning hours of July 19 -- when several gunshots could be heard -- was linked to Wright's cell phone.
Ruhl said police used that call to narrow the search territory.
"The Memphis Police Department will continue this investigation," Ruhl said. "As is done in every homicide investigation, investigators continue to work around the clock to bring justice to Mr. Wright and his family."
Wright was the seventh overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Clippers after he starred at University of Memphis. His last season in the NBA included 17 games with the Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2008-09 season.