his mom has custody of the baby and will raise her.
Jovan Belcher's relationship called strained
The relationship between Kasandra Perkins and Kansas City Chiefs
linebacker Jovan Belcher was on and off and marked by tension that had
escalated after the birth of their daughter, according to a relative
and a friend of Perkins. She was fatally shot Saturday by Belcher before
he killed himself.
In a phone interview Sunday, Angela
Perkins, 32, who said she is the victim's cousin, said Belcher and
Perkins who she called Kasi had "been having a lot of problems. They
weren't getting along for quite a while."
Perkins, who said she spent time at
the couple's home both before and after their 3-month-old daughter was
born, said the stress of having a baby just before the season and
Belcher's constant time away from home for practice and road games
"really put a strain" on their relationship.
"There was just a lot going on. She was stressed. He
was stressed," said Perkins. Arguing was "a regular thing. It just
started to go bad, but they had the child, and they were trying to make
Across the street from the Jackson County medical examiner's office in Kansas City, Mo.,
where friends and relatives of Perkins and Belcher had parked, Lynell
Diggs, a friend of Perkins, confirmed the relationship was troubled.
"He didn't want her going out with the baby at home," said Diggs who also said she had attended the Trey Songz concert Friday night with Perkins.
Diggs said Perkins had expressed
concern about Belcher's mental state. "She knew something was off with
him," she said, adding that Perkins had talked of it at a restaurant
after the show.
"She went out to take a break. She was
dealing with a lot," Diggs said of Perkins' desire to go to the
concert. "I can't believe he did this to her. Tell people how good she
was. She was special."
Perkins and a Kansas City, Missouri police spokesman says the baby, Zoey Michelle Belcher, is in her grandmother's custody, safe and unharmed.
Perkins said the plan for now is for the baby to go to Long Island to live.
Back in West Babylon,
family and neighbors of Belcher, who was raised there, struggled Sunday
to reconcile the violent circumstances surrounding his death with the
man they knew.
"No one knows what happened but those
two. I wish he would have said something to someone . . . We're all
coming together. It shocks all of us," said Eric Oakes, 20, a cousin of
He described Belcher, 25, and Perkins,
22, as a happy couple and said Belcher's mother, Cheryl Shepherd, 58,
had been out visiting her son to help care for the baby. She is now
expected to return home Sunday or Monday with the child. Funeral
arrangements are pending, Oakes said, adding that as long as the baby
has the grandmother and family, the baby will be fine.
Oakes said Belcher was "more than a
cousin, he was a father figure." Oakes, a former running back for West
Babylon High School who was wearing a Kansas City Chiefs jersey with
Belcher's number, 59, said, "He's the reason I started playing football."
Oakes said his cousin didn't experience any head trauma as of late from football and that he wasn't on any medication.
"It's hard to figure out," said Emanual Logan, who lives next door, and watched Belcher grow up.
"He was a pleasant guy," said Logan,
recalling how Belcher hosted a block party for children in the
neighborhood this past summer.
"It's really out of character for him,
but there must have been something in his past to suggest he could
commit an act like this," said former neighbor Marieme Lo, 37.
Edited by PurpleHaze - Dec 02 2012 at 3:03pm