The minor league baseball pitcher whose wife, baby son and mother-in-law, were all killed earlier this week, allegedly at the hands of his brother-in-law, has written a tribute to his slain loved ones on Instagram.
“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,” Blake Bivens’ post begins.
Emily Bernard Bivens, 25, and her 14-month-old son were found dead inside their family home in rural Pittsylvania County, Virginia earlier this week. Emily’s mother Joan Bernard, 62, was found slain in the family driveway. A dog was also reportedly killed.
“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,” Bivens, 24, wrote before addressing his baby: “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.”
Bivens, who pitches for the Montgomery Biscuits in the Tampa Bay Rays organization, also had a message for his mother-in-law.
“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.”
Emily’s brother and Joan’s son Matthew Bernard, 18, has been charged with murder in the triple homicide. While a manner of death for the victims hasn’t been disclosed, Pittsylvania County Sheriff Mike Taylor said during a news conference that a firearm was used in the incident. During the subsequent manhunt for the suspect, the sheriff's office stated Bernard was armed with a rifle.
After the murders, deputies say they found the teen naked and unarmed in a wooded area. He ran from officers into a church parking lot and allegedly tried to strangle a man, a church caretaker, who was getting in his truck, according to footage obtained by WSET-TV. Video shows Matthew appearing to wriggle away from law enforcement a few more times before he is finally taken into custody. While in custody, he banged his head on the cage of a police cruiser and had to be treated at a hospital for cuts, according to Taylor.
Bernard was subsequently put on suicide watch in jail. A cousin posted on social media this week that he suffers from mental illness.
Blake did not address his brother-in-law in his post but did share his gratitude for those who've reached out in support.
"I am comforted by all the messages and well wishes. I’m not sure what is next for me, but I do know God has a plan even though I can’t see it."
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