December 3, 2012

Murder-suicide stuns people who knew couple

Heather Hollingsworth / The Associated Press

(Continued from page 1)

"It's a surprise," she said. "There had to of been something that triggered it."

Belcher's mother, who was staying with the couple, called 911 after her son shot Perkins. Snapp said 911 tapes are not public records in Missouri.

Shawn Martin, vice president of the neighborhood homeowners association, said she wasn't aware of any problems that preceded the shooting.

She described the parties at the home Belcher and Perkins shared as "nothing more than any other young couple" would have.

After having the baby, Perkins was taking the fall semester off school. York said Perkins planned to return in January and wanted to become a teacher.

Police said Belcher's mother was living with the couple, but York said she just made frequent visits, sometimes lasting a couple weeks at a time. She doesn't know who will care for the baby now.

"They just seemed really happy around each other, and I just don't understand where things went wrong," York said.

York said the only other stress Perkins mentioned was whether Belcher would stay with the Chiefs.

"She was a really good person to be around and a lot of fun," York said. "She was somebody you could call when you were down and she would talk you through it. She would lift you back up and make you feel happy again if you were sad or upset."

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