WEST BABYLON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The family of linebacker Jovan Belcher, who committed suicide after killing his girlfriend, spoke out Monday from the Long Island childhood home of the Kansas City Chiefs player.
A makeshift memorial full of trophies, plaques, photographs and football jerseys could be seen in front of the West Babylon home, where Belcher’s family spoke of the tragedy.
“We will cherish the wonderful memories we have of Jovan and we pray that those memories will bring us peace as we grapple to understand the unpredictable and tragic ending of his life and the life of Kassandra Perkins,” Belcher’s niece, Quaresha Boston told reporters, including 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera.
Belcher’s family also released a full statement, stating they were “overwhelmed with both sadness and confusion.” They also asked for privacy as they continue to grieve, saying “Only God can mend our heart.”
“As a family, no words can express the sorrow we feel over the loss of Jovan and Kassandra. The impact that this inconceivable tragedy has had on our heart is immeasurable,” the statement read. “We loved Jovan. His kindness, humility, respect and gratitude for family and friends were steadfast. The man we knew and loved for 25 years embraced life and excelled at all he put his energy behind.”
The family’s statement also stated that Belcher was “overjoyed” when his girlfriend (Perkins), gave birth to their daughter Zoey.
“He was happy to be a new father and both he and Kassandra loved Zoey greatly. The immense outpouring of sympathy and support from Jovan’s friends, teammates, coaches and fans have been a reflection of the impact he had on so many people,” the statement read. “Like them, we will cherish the wonderful memories we have of Jovan and we pray that those memories will bring us peace as we grapple to understand the unpredictable and tragic ending of his life and the life of Kassandra Perkins. ”
Perkins’ family also released a statement on Monday, stating they were appreciative of the love and concern for their “beloved daughter, granddaughter, sister, mother, cousin and friend.”
“Our hearts are truly broken for ‘Kasi,'”” the statement read. “At this time we request the media respect our privacy during this difficult time as we grieve for our loved one. Please keep us in your hearts and prayers as well as the Belcher family for two lives were lost. Again we thank you for your support, our wish is for ‘Kasi’ to be remembered for the love she shared with us all. Kasi will be truly missed!”
Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles and his wife, Whitney, also released a statement Monday, confirming that Perkins and Whitney Charles were cousins.
“Our family has suffered a personal tragic loss,” the Charles’ said in their statement. “As this is a very tough time for our family, I ask that we are respected as we grieve. Kassandra was not only family, but a friend and a loving mother. As my actual family and my Kansas City Chiefs family have been altered forever, we ask that you keep us and most importantly their child in prayer.”
Belcher’s mother will be returning to West Babylon sometime Monday with her son’s 3-month-old daughter, the linebacker’s cousin Eric Oakes told 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera said.
Investigators in Kansas City continue to search for a motive to help explain why Belcher killed his girlfriend and then himself on Saturday.
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