JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Family members of Louis Nix III said they want answers after the former NFL player was found dead.
The former Raines High School football standout who went on to play at Notre Dame, spend two years with the Houston Texans and briefly sign with the Jacksonville Jaguars was reported missing to police on Wednesday.
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office sent out a tweet around 8 p.m. Saturday, saying Nix had been located but did not say where or how he was found.
His family confirmed to News4Jax that he died.
Nix’s mother, Stephanie Wingfield, and brother, Antonio Nix, told News4Jax on Sunday that all they know is police found his car in a pond.
“There’s not much stuff that can hurt me, but I don’t even know how to describe that,” Antonio Nix said.
Wingfield said detectives came to her house yesterday to tell her that her son had been found dead.
“They couldn’t get anything else out, and I just lost it and I said, ‘no, no, no, no,” said Stephanie Wingfield, Nix’s mother. “That’s all I kept saying. When she said that, I just lost it because I couldn’t believe it. They said they couldn’t give me any more information.”
According to the family, JSO officers found Nix’s car in a pond a cross the street from the Broxton Bay apartments, where family said he lived with his girlfriend.
Even one of his former Notre Dame teammates was concerned when he received no calls or messages from Nix.
“It was pretty odd because like I said, we talk often almost every day,” said Jalen Brown.
He had been reported missing since Wednesday and hadn’t talked to family since Tuesday.
“That’s not like my son,” Wingfield said. “You’re going to hear from him. He’s going to call you and text you.”
Antonio Nix also said he remembers police asking family if Louis Nix knew how to swim.
“They asked could he swim or something like that along those lines, and they never gave no details about anything,” he said.
Louis Nix, 29, was injured in a shooting in December at a gas station about a half-mile from where what’s believed to be his car was pulled from the water on Saturday night. He told News4Jax days after the harrowing encounter that he was “getting through it” and hoped it wouldn’t happen to anyone else.
“God spared him,” Wingfield said.
Louis Nix, a longtime football star in Jacksonville, attended the University of Notre Dame after graduating from Raines. Louis Nix, calling himself “Irish Chocolate,” was selected by the Houston Texans in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft.
He underwent knee surgery before he could play any game and was released two years later. He was briefly with the New York Giants and Jacksonville Jaguars practice squads before the Jaguars signed him to a reserve/future contract in January 2017 but released him four months later.
The family is hoping they’ll get answers soon, but for now they cherish the memories they shared with Louis.
“If I knew I wouldn’t see him, I would’ve not let him leave my house Monday when he was over there,” Wingfield said. “I would’ve talked to him on the phone all day Tuesday.”
Brown said their relationship stretched beyond football.
“I just want him to be remembered by being a guy that was able to bring joy to others and being someone that has the biggest smile,” Brown said.