The AP reports that a law enforcement official played them a 12-second voicemail left April 9 from a phone number sourced to the NFL's office. The voicemail confirmed that the NFL had received the video:
"A female voice expresses thanks and says: 'You're right. It's terrible.'"
On Monday, TMZ.com released video of Rice striking his then-fiancée, now-wife Janay Palmer in an Atlantic City casino on Feb. 15. Rice was cut by the Baltimore Ravens and suspended indefinitely by the NFL later that day.
On Tuesday, TMZ.com reported that the NFL never asked the casino to see elevator security video. The league responded with a statement saying it saw the video for the first time Monday morning.
Later Tuesday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told CBS that the league had never seen video of what happened in the elevator.
"We assumed that there was a video," Goodell told CBS. "We asked for anything that's pertinent. But we were never granted that opportunity."
The law enforcement official told the AP that he can't confirm anyone watched the video. He said that he sent a DVD copy of the security camera video to an NFL office and included his contact information but had no further communication with the league.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello released a statement responding to the AP's report:
"We have no knowledge of this. We are not aware of anyone in our office who possessed or saw the video before it was made public on Monday. We will look into it."
ABC reported Wednesday that the Baltimore Ravens knew the surveillance video existed, and Rice's lawyer had a copy of the footage, but did not ask to see it.
Albert Breer of NFL Network reports the Ravens said they asked the lawyer for the tape, but "he said he didn't have it at that time, but that he had seen it."
CBS's Norah O'Donnell reported Wednesday that the NFL's security department is investigating whether the league office got the tape.
Complete Ray Rice coverage
- Molly Geary and Sarah Barshop