New reports surfaced Sunday that might give some clarity to the weeks leading up to the tragic murder-suicide involving Jovan Belcher of the Kansas City Chiefs and his girlfriend Kassandra Perkins. Belcher committed suicide at Arrowhead Stadium in Missouri early Friday morning after shooting Perkins multiple times and killing her, according to police.
Deadspin reported that a source close to Belcher said he and Perkins, who shared a 3-month-old daughter, were having domestic problems that were complicated by mutual immaturity and Belcher’s alleged substance abuse problem.
The last game Belcher played was on Nov. 18 against the Cincinnati Bengals, in which he was involved in multiple head-to-head collisions and afterward was “was dazed and was suffering from short-term memory loss. He could not remember the events that had taken place prior to that game or what he had said to get [Perkins] to return home,” according to Deadspin.
The source told Deadspin the murder-suicide was the sad culmination of a long series of disputes that saw the two separate and seemingly use their young daughter against each other. Deadspin’s Isaac Rauch wrote that the source, who clearly favored Belcher, accused Perkins of preparing to leave the Chiefs linebacker and extract money from him in the form of child support, perhaps because of his substance abuse.
“When it comes to prescription medication it is unclear from my perspective whether it was diagnosed and authorized by the team or not,” the source told Deadspin. “However, I know he was under the influence of narcotics for pain and I'm sure the toxicology report will reflect this. However, Jovan drank A LOT. On a nightly basis. This is not a mystery, as he did so in public and private.”
An article in the Kansas City Star seems to corroborate this story with a report that Perkins attended a concert by the rapper Trey Songz and stayed out late drinking with friends. She returned home around 1 a.m. to Belcher, their child and her mother, who was staying with the young family. An argument ensued, leading to gunshots a few hours later.
“She was sweet, very nice and down to earth,” said Jennifer Ashley, a friend of Perkins. “She cared about people. She was a person who didn’t talk about her problems.”
Belcher’s mother will raise his orphaned daughter, Zoey Michelle, in the same Long Island town the linebacker grew up in, according to the New York Daily News. Belcher’s cousin Eric Oakes told the newspaper the family is still trying to cope with the shocking news.
“No one knows what happened but them two,” said Oakes. “I really wish he would have said something to someone.”