Belcher to be exhumed for brain examination

Last updated 10:52 15/12/2013

Relevant offers

Other Sports

BMX star Sarah Walker heads offshore confident she can nail spot at Rio Australian Adam Gotsis drafted in second round of NFL Draft by Denver Broncos Mark Todd starts well at Kentucky three-day event with strong dressage display Kiwi sailors position themselves for medals at World Cup regatta in France The bong video + the hacked account = $18 million in lost contracts NZ's Tom Walsh thriving on shot of confidence ahead of Olympic journey Troubled swimmer Grant Hackett admits he has a problem with booze Head to head: Are the Olympics becoming a money spinning sports jamboree? Badminton key to Andrew Nicholson's unlikely bid for Rio Olympics Quiz: Test your sports knowledge - April 29

Former Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher's body has been exhumed more than a year after he killed his girlfriend and himself so that his brain can be examined for signs of a degenerative condition linked to repeated concussions. 

Jovan's family had his body exhumed on Friday at North Babylon Cemetery in the Long Island, New York, community of Bay Shore, the family's attorney, Dirk Vandever, told The Kansas City Star. 

Vandever didn't immediately respond to an email and phone messages left on Saturday by The Associated Press. 

An examination of Belcher's brain could determine whether he had chronic traumatic encephalopathy last December when he killed his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins, with whom he had an infant daughter, in their home. 

Belcher then drove to the Chiefs' practice facility and shot himself in the head in the parking lot. 

Bennet Omalu, an expert on the destructive brain condition, said he ''would bet one month's salary that (Belcher) had CTE'' and the local medical examiner should have performed a test for it. 

CTE is a progressive disease linked to multiple concussions. 

It has made headlines in recent years with the deaths of some former professional athletes, and lawsuits filed against the NFL by others worried about the still unclear toll of a sport that can bring repeated blows to the head. 

Symptoms include memory problems, behavior changes including aggression, and eventually dementia. 

Dan Ferguson, a spokesman for Jackson County, stressed the medical examiner's job is to determine cause of death and that removal of an organ or tissue strictly for research isn't allowed. 

Belcher's brain also could have been donated for research, but Vandever said Belcher's family wasn't contacted about such a donation. 

The fact that it's been a year since Belcher died could complicate the exam. But Omalu said important scientific findings remain possible, noting that he has found clear evidence of Alzheimer's and other brain diseases during autopsies performed on bodies buried longer than Belcher's.

Ad Feedback

- AP

Special offers
Opinion poll

Will Shane Cameron beat Kali Meehan on Saturday?

For sure. Cameron will knock him out.

It will be close but I think Cameron on points.

Meehan will knock him out. This is his last fight.

I'm tipping Meehan to win on points.

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content