Last December Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher shot and killed his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins in the home they shared shortly before taking his own life at the team’s facility. A year after the tragic murder-suicide, Belcher’s body has been exhumed at his family’s request according to CBS Sports.
The family is hoping that by examining Belcher’s brain they will have answers to why he shot his girlfriend and the mother of his 3-month-old daughter nine times before turning the gun on himself.
“If his brain had been examined (when he died), we’d have a better understanding of why he did what he did,” Dr. Bennet Omalu, the man credited with discovering the brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), told the Star. “We would have a better understanding about concussions and playing football, and we would advance the understanding of the science of all of this.”
Belcher played in the NFL for four years and had no history of documented concussions. But Kash Kiefer, who was a former teammate of Belcher’s at Maine as well as a close friend, told Bleacher Report last month that “Jovan suffered multiple concussions. But in football, you don’t complain. You play. That was Jovan. He played.”
According to the Kansas City Star, “Other stories emerged that Belcher had become unpredictable and irritable in the months leading up to the murder-suicide and was beginning to drink more — an autopsy showed his blood-alcohol level on the morning of the murder-suicide was more than twice the legal limit in Missouri. These stories matched a lot of what we know about the effects of CTE (a degenerative disease caused by repeated head injuries).”
The Star contacted Kasandra Perkins’ mother to and she said she had no idea Belcher’s body was being exhumed. She also added:
“I’m doubtful it will solve anything.”