After Kasandra Perkins was viciously killed by her boyfriend, Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher - who then took his own life - friends, family and teammates are trying to understand why the promising 25-year-old football star would murder the mother of their 3-month-old daughter Zoey.
As the gory tale begins to take shape, fans are desperately trying to find answers on the Facebook page of 22-year-old Kasandra Perkins. The adorable pictures taken on Halloween seem to tell a story of a happy family, further confusing friends and teammates.
Dressed in a mini orange tutu and blue headband, Zoey is cradled in the arms of her beaming parents. Forty-nine friends shared the album entitled Chiefs Halloween Event. "The 1st two pics she looking like mom really lmao look at those cheeks she is so adorable cnt wait to c her," Lena White wrote below the pictures.
Brianne York added: "Girl she her daddy twin...but in the top left just like you!!!"
Looking at the happy couple, it's hard to understand why the man who rose from special teams ace to starter would have brutally killed his girlfriend and himself.
After Perkins posted a photo of Zoey at a week old 139 friends clicked like. "Awwwww!," Raven Cruz-Owens wrote. "Shes beautiful! Cant believe this beautiful being swam with us when we swam with the sharks! Beautiful memories! Hope to see u soon! Congrats!"
In 2011, Belcher liked the Facebook group "Male Athletes Against Violence." Photos that are still up on his Facebook page show a man who is constantly smiling, often giving the children in his life big bear hugs.
After Belcher posted the photo above last March, Perkins wrote: " I just want that hat sweet little Gabby. And omg those batting eyes, she had us all wrapped around her finger."
These comments are only small indications of why teammates are so stunned. "The entire Chiefs family is deeply saddened by today's events, and our collective hearts are heavy with sympathy, thoughts and prayers for the families and friends affected by this unthinkable tragedy," Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt said in brief a statement.
On Sept. 14, Perkins posted the photo above of Belcher holding Zoey. Her friends were overjoyed. One-hundred-and-eighty people clicked like on the picture with the caption "My loves - with Jovan Belcher."
Charlie Cook wrote: "Peace & love, little ones bring both to you daily and all we have to do is except it as that. Closes thing to pure love we will ever know." And Eva Bacigalupo Lawrence said: "May God Bless you all and enjoy your new life with your precious little girl!"
Al Ritacco, Belcher's former high school coach at West Babylon, doesn't understand it at all. "He was a great kid - this is out of character,'' he told USA Today. "I find this very hard to comprehend. As a teacher, I've seen kids who were troubled. But [not] this guy. He was an outstanding individual, a kid I looked up to."
"If he had a negative side, I never saw it. He was a positive kid - determined to make something [of his life]. ... When he was here [Nov. 20 for homecoming], he [had become] a father and he was beaming about that.''
Now Ritacco - like so many others - is left wondering how such a senseless crime could have occurred.