Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles, whose wife is a cousin of Kasandra Perkins, released the following statement today.
The Kansas City Star
"Our family has suffered a personal tragic loss," Charles and his wife, Whitney, said. "Kasandra Perkins was in-fact first cousin to my wife, Whitney. As this is a very tough time for our family, I ask that we are respected as we grieve. Kasandra was not only family, but a friend and a loving mother. As my actual family and my Kansas City Chiefs family have been altered forever, we ask that you keep us and most importantly their child in prayer.
"Thank you all for your continued support."
The Perkins family also spoke for the first time through a statement.
"On behalf of the Perkins Family, we appreciate the outpouring of love and concern for our Kasandra 'Kasi' Perkins. Our hearts are truly broken for Kasi was a beloved daughter, granddaughter, sister, mother, cousin and friend. At this time we request the media respect our privacy during this difficult time as we grieve for our loved one. Please keep us in your hearts and prayers as well as the Belcher family for two lives were lost. Again we thank you for your support, our wish is for Kasi to be remembered for the love she shared with us all. Kasi will be truly missed!"
Jovan Belcher's relatives also provided statements today, as several relatives gathered outside of Belcher's boyhood home, looking somber and sad. Yamiesse Lawrence, a cousin of Belcher's, said the weekend's events were an "inconceivable tragedy."
"As a family, no words can express the sorrow we feel over the loss of Jovan and Kasandra," Lawrence read aloud.
She said the family is "overwhelmed with both sadness and confusion," and extends thoughts and prayers to the Perkins family.
Belcher's niece, Quaresha Boston, said the football player "embraced life and excelled at all he put his energy behind" and that God alone could "mend our hearts."
"We loved Jovan. His kindness, humility, respect and gratitude for family and friends were steadfast," she said. "... He was happy to be a new father and both he and Kasandra loved Zoey greatly."