Rifle And Pile Of Bloody Clothes Found In Case Of Teen Who Allegedly Murdered His Mom, Sister And Nephew

Matthew Bernard, 18, is accused of killing his mother Joan Bernard, his sister Emily Bernard Bivens and his 14-month old nephew Cullen Micah Bivens.

By Gina Tron
Digital Original
Evidence Found In Virginia Triple Homicide, Police Say

A pile of bloody clothing was found in a wooded area in Virginia and investigators think the garments were worn by a man accused of killing three family members, including his sister who is married to a minor league baseball player and her son.

Matthew Bernard, 18, allegedly killed his mom Joan Bernard, 62, his sister Emily Bernard Bivens, 25, her 14-month old son Cullen Micah Bivens, and a dog at their family home in rural Pittsylvania County late last month.

After their bodies were discovered, a three-hour manhunt for Matthew ensued. Police said he was found naked and unarmed in a wooded area before running from officers. He fled to a church parking lot where he allegedly tried to strangle a church caretaker before he was eventually taken into custody.

Clothing  ––  a white tee, blue sweatpants, and Nike shoes –– was located about an hour from the family home, a search warrant obtained Friday by local outlet Chatham Star-Tribune states. The items were found a day after the murders.

"The clothing appeared to have red stains and what could possibly be particles of human tissue on them," the warrant states. 

A rifle was recovered in a different wooded area about 100 yards from the home.

Blake Bivens, who pitches for the Montgomery Biscuits in the Tampa Bay Rays organization, posted last month that his “heart was turned to ash” and his life as he knew it “destroyed” by the murders of his wife Emily and son Cullen.

Matthew has been charged with murder in the triple homicide. He is set to be arraigned on Thursday. While a manner of death for the victims hasn’t been disclosed, Pittsylvania County Sheriff Mike Taylor said during a news conference last month that a firearm was used in the incident. A sledgehammer was found in the home’s garage covered in blood, WSET reported.

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