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Police: Rays' Blake Bivens' Wife, 1-Year-Old Child and Mother-in-Law Killed

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorAugust 28, 2019

The crowd on Pride Night at Tropicana Field watches during the fifth inning of a baseball game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the San Francisco Giants on Friday, June 17, 2016, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

Minor league pitcher Blake Bivens' wife, Emily Bivens, one-year-old son, Cullen Bivens, and mother-in-law, Joan Bernard, were killed in Pittsylvania County, Virginia, on Tuesday, authorities confirmed, according to Jason Lanning of BayNews9.com.

Police arrested Bivens' brother-in-law, 18-year-old Matthew Bernard, and charged him with three counts of first-degree murder.

ABC 13 News reported police responded to a 911 call and found a woman dead in a driveway on Keeling Drive. Another woman and a child were found dead inside the home.

Later in the morning, the Pittsylvania County Sheriff's Office named Bernard as a suspect. Soon afterward, he was seen emerging from the woods naked and running around the neighborhood.

"ABC 13's Kyle Wilcox was standing in the media staging area when Bernard ran past reporters, attacked a church groundskeeper by putting his hands around his neck, and a police officer chased him down the street after macing him and hitting him with a nightstick to no avail," per ABC 13 News.

"He was taken into custody after running toward the homicide scene and officers."

According to NBC 10 News, Pittsylvania County Sheriff Mike Taylor told reporters that 100 officers assisted, including Virginia state troopers.

"This was a shock to our community, to anybody's community when something like this happens. And it's just a reminder about how fragile life is," Taylor said.

Bivens, a 24-year-old reliever, plays in the Southern League for the Montgomery Biscuits, a Double-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Biscuits announced earlier Tuesday that their doubleheader with the Chattanooga Lookouts would be canceled because of a "tragic event within the Biscuits family." Jeff Passan of ESPN reported the killings Tuesday evening.

The Rays and Biscuits both issued statements.

Tampa Bay Rays @RaysBaseball

We're with you, Blake. https://t.co/gJqdUCIf7p

Montgomery Biscuits @BiscuitBaseball

A statement from CEO & Managing Owner, Lou DiBella. https://t.co/Uocm0juKb7

Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times forwarded a GoFundMe page from Our Baseball Life in support of Bivens and his family.