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Missing former NFL player Louis Nix found dead in Florida

Nix's mother confirmed his death after a vehicle matching his car's description was pulled from a retention pond near his apartment in Jacksonville.
NFL: AUG 18 Texans Training Camp
Houston Texans defensive tackle Louis Nix during the Texans' training camp in Houston on Aug. 18, 2015.Ken Murray / Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty images

Former NFL defensive lineman Louis Nix was found dead Saturday at age 29, days after he was reported missing in Jacksonville, Florida.

Nix's mother confirmed his death after authorities pulled a vehicle matching his car's description from a retention pond near his apartment, NBC affiliate WTLV reported. The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said it was looking for Nix after he was reported missing Wednesday.

The sheriff's office tweeted late Saturday that Nix had been "located" but did not provide further details. It did not immediately respond to a request for comment Sunday.

It was not clear whether a cause of death had been determined.

Nix was drafted by the Houston Texans in 2014 after a notable collegiate career at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. He was often affectionately known in college as "Irish Chocolate" or "Big Lou," Notre Dame said in a statement announcing his death Sunday.

The school described Nix as a four-star prospect who quickly helped "anchor the defensive front" for the team as it fought for championships. Nix was an All-American in his junior year, and he began his senior year on both the Maxwell and Bednarik award watch lists, Notre Dame said.

A knee injury he suffered during his final year at Notre Dame continued to ail him in the NFL, however.

He needed surgery before he made it to the Texans' training camp and another operation before the end of his rookie season, NBC Sports reported. Nix had stints with the Texans, the New York Giants, the Washington Football Team and the Jacksonville Jaguars during his three seasons in the NFL.

Nix was the victim of an armed robbery in December, when two men approached him as he was filling his tires at a gas station. Nix was shot and spent 10 days in the hospital after he needed surgery for injuries from a bullet that ricocheted off his sternum and into his lung, according to Nix's Twitter feed.

Friends, former teammates and coaches mourned Nix's death, memorializing him on social media. Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly posted a tribute video from Nix's time at the university.

In one clip, Nix tells an interviewer that he just tries to remain true to himself and "be the guy that breaks the ice everywhere I go."

A former Notre Dame athlete, Romeo Okwara, a defensive end for the Detroit Lions, tweeted that Nix would be "greatly missed."

"Always wanted to put a smile on everyone's face," Okwara said. "Glad I got to share some unforgettable moments with you."