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Body of Chiefs linebacker Belcher exhumed for brain exam

 

The family of former Kansas City Chiefs' linebacker Jovan Belcher has had his body exhumed so that his brain can be examined for possible clues about why he killed his girlfriend and himself last year.

Family attorney Dirk Vandever told The Kansas City Star that Belcher's body was taken Friday from the North Babylon Cemetery in Bay Shore, N.Y. Vandever didn't immediately respond to Saturday phone and email messages from The Associated Press.

The examination of Belcher's brain could help determine whether he had a destructive brain disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy. The condition has been linked to head blows, and early signs in younger athletes can include mood changes.

The delay in conducting the examination might make it more difficult. But researchers say important scientific findings remain possible.