Tampa Bay Rays minor league pitching prospect Blake Bivens gave a tribute to his late wife, one-year-old son and mother-in-law, who were all slain earlier this week.
He posted a series of photos of his wife, Emily, son, Cullen, and mother-in-law, Joan Bernard, along with a lengthy post on his Instagram page detailing the pain and his feelings:
"Two days ago my heart was turned to ash. My life as I knew it is destroyed. The pain my family and I feel is unbearable and cannot be put into words. I shake and tremble at the thought of our future without them.
Emily, my sweetheart, you are the best wife and mother this world has ever seen. You made me into the man I am today and you loved me with all of my flaws. You brought our precious baby boy into this world and made our family complete. Your love and kindness changed countless lives, including mine.
My sweet little boy, dada loves you so much! I can’t breathe without you here. I finally understood what love was when you were born and I would have done anything for you. You have changed my life forever, you are my reason why. I long to hold the both of you again in heaven. I’m so glad you are with all your Great-grandmothers now, I know they are eating you up. This earth did not deserve either of you; you were just too wonderful to comprehend.
Joan you were the best mother-in-law anyone could ask for. You loved your family more than anyone I’ve ever seen. You raised the most wonderful girl in the world. I’m so glad y’all are still together. You were the best Nana this world has ever seen and I will never forget you."
Bivens plays for the Montgomery Biscuits, which painted "BIV" behind home plate:
The Associated Press (h/t ESPN.com) provided more details on the killings, noting the 18-year-old brother of Emily was charged with first-degree murder.
The complaint filed against Matthew Bernard said he punched a neighbor in the arm on Tuesday morning and then ran. Said neighbor then heard gunshots next door and eventually found the dead bodies.
According to the AP, up to 100 officers were brought in to help find Bernard. An officer used pepper spray and a baton to capture the teenager after he emerged naked from the woods and attempted to choke someone at a church.