Jovan Belcher’s mother, who was in her son’s Missouri home the morning he killed his girlfriend, had previously told investigators that she heard the two arguing before shots were fired. Now, according to the New York Post, she’s telling authorities that the argument had to do with the paternity of the couple’s infant daughter, Zoey.
“The mother believed that there was an issue over whether [Belcher] was the father,” said a source close to the Chiefs with knowledge of the situation.
“She said he [believed he] wasn’t necessarily the father of the child.”
A Kansas City law-enforcement source confirmed, “She told [police] there was a question about the paternity.”
It’s unclear if the paternity issue was the reason for the final, violent end of the troubled relationship between Belcher, 25, and Perkins, 22.
“But the implication was that [paternity] was what the two of them were fighting about — that the baby might not have been his,” a source said.
The NFL didn’t respond to the Post’s questions about whether or not the surviving-child benefit of the NFL’s collective-bargaining agreement is contingent upon a paternity test. As the paper points out, Zoey Belcher stands to receive over $1 million because of the benefit. Kansas City police, meanwhile, say that the infant’s paternity won’t be a part of their investigation.
After shooting Perkins, Belcher reportedly apologized and kissed her as she lay dying. He then kissed Zoey goodbye and drove the Chiefs’ practice facility, where he’d later commit suicide in front of head coach Romeo Crennel and team general manager Scott Pioli.
Belcher and Perkins had been arguing in the months leading up to the shooting, according to friends and family. No one, besides the deceased, will ever truly know what those fights were rooted in.
UPDATE: Kansas City police spokesman Darin Snapp told USA Today that the Post’s report was inaccurate. “I talked to the lead detective, and he said not one witness has come forward mentioning paternity,” Snapp said.
We’ll update further if more information comes in.