More than a year after his murder-suicide, Jovan Belcher’s body has been exhumed. Belcher’s family intends to have his brain examined in order to gain more clues as to why Belcher killed his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, and then took his own life at the Kansas City Chiefs football facility.
Researchers will examine his brain and try to determine if Belcher suffered from CTE. Per the Kansas City Star:
“If his brain had been examined (when he died), we’d have a better understanding of why he did what he did,” said Bennet Omalu, who is credited with discovering the brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). “We would have a better understanding about concussions and playing football, and we would advance the understanding of the science of all of this.”
Examiners will face several challenges in this case. Much of the research will depend on how well the brain was preserved. Also, Belcher shot himself in the head, which will also make examination difficult, though not impossible.
If Belcher is found to have suffered from CTE he will join a growing list of former NFL players with the affliction. Head trauma has become a primary concern of the league. It settled a $750 million lawsuit pertaining to concussions prior to the 2013 regular season.