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Murder-suicide victim mourned

BLUE RIDGE, Texas -- A relative of the slain girlfriend of Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher said Thursday that she was a loyal friend who brought joy to others with her smiles and laughter.

Kasandra Perkins' great-uncle Ted Downing also told mourners at a funeral service that the 22-year-old Perkins loved her family and considered her 3-month-old daughter, Zoey, to be the love of her life.

"She had a deep, deep understanding about the important things in life," Downing said during a memorial at a rural North Texas church five days after Belcher, formerly of West Babylon, killed Perkins then shot himself in the head.

A white coffin bedecked with a spray of white lilies and pink roses was the mourners' focal point at Ridgeview Family Fellowship in Blue Ridge, about 40 miles northeast of Dallas.

"It's a very tragic circumstance, a tragic situation," the Rev. Steve Sweeney told mourners.

He offered a prayer for God to bring healing to both her family and Belcher's family. He also prayed for strength for Zoey, who was at the service. Perkins' mother, Cheryl Shepherd, is currently caring for the baby.

Downing said Perkins was a loyal friend, recalling a time when she was a child when she was upset that a friend of hers did not get a desired part in a play.

"She always had no shortage of friends, and I mean good friends," Downing said.

Life Celebration Funeral Home says a separate service will be held Saturday in Austin, followed by burial in nearby Pflugerville.

Belcher shot Perkins at their Kansas City home Saturday morning, police say. He then drove with a handgun to Arrowhead Stadium, where he thanked team officials before kneeling down and shooting himself in the head.

According to the Turrentine Jackson Morrow funeral home, Perkins is also survived by two siblings, her parents, grandparents and a great-grandmother.

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