Jeff Hanneman

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(CNN) -- The death of Slayer founder and Grammy-winning heavy metal guitarist Jeff Hanneman launched speculation Friday that focused on a spider bite.

Hanneman, 49, died Thursday of liver failure in Southern California, the band said in a statement.

Though there was no official word from a physician or medical professional about Hanneman's death, several news outlets reported what Hanneman's band said in a statement Friday -- that the rocker's death was connected to a spider bite that he suffered at least more than a year ago.

On the band's website, a statement read that in January Hanneman "had contracted necrotizing fasciitis "likely caused by a spider bite, and has been undergoing surgeries, skin grafts and intense rehab since" . . .