Blake Bivens, Baseball player who is a minor league pitcher for the Tampa Bay Rays’ farm team has said he was at the airport when he logged on to Facebook and found out his family had been murdered.
Bivens’ wife Emily, 25, their 14-month-old son Cullen, Emily’s mother, Joan Bernard, 64, and a pet dog were found slain in their Keeling, VA home while Bivens was out on a road trip with the Montgomery Biscuits.
Bivens Narate how he discovered his wife, baby son and mother-in-law were shot to death last August, Bivens, 24, said: “First headline I see is two females and a small child were gone.”
ESPN report that his brother-in-law, Matthew Bernard, 19, was arrested and charged with three counts of murder after leading the police on a chase while naked. Police say there may have been “religious motivation” for the shootings, according to a search warrant,
In a confessional statement, which was broadcast over Facebook: “I immediately knew that was them. I found out my family was gone over a Facebook headline. I just immediately began to scream in the middle of the airport.”
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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. Skip you are a wonderful father and grandfather. We will get through this together as a family. We will not let the devil win! Thank you God for giving me the most wonderful family in the world! I’ve been blessed beyond belief. Thank you to all my family and friends who have reached out to me during this time of sorrow. Thank you @raysbaseball @biscuitbaseball for your support through everything. 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.
Bivens, who has not stopped mourning his family via his Instagram posts, spoke for more than 30 minutes on the broadcast, detailing how he first checked his phone while packing up for a bus ride to a day game, which led him to the awful news.
A determination hearing is scheduled for next week to see if Bernard is competent enough to stand trial.
Bivens confessed the trip home “could have been a whole lot worse for me” if he hadn’t been joined by three members of his baseball team.
“I think the hardest moment for me was when I got home and I walked in my son’s bedroom for the first time and realized I was never going to see him on this earth again,” he revealed. “That was the worst moment in my life. Nothing ever will come to feeling the way I felt at that moment.”
He said: “There weren’t any messages from Emily or anyone. I knew then something was going on and immediately called my parents. They were trying to figure out what was going on also. I knew I needed to get my stuff together. I needed to probably get an airport trip home, not knowing the extent of anything going on.”
He went on to discuss the heartbreaking trip home.
“The only thing I really remember from the whole plane ride is I just went through periods,” he said. “I just stared at the back of the seat the whole time, trying to get my mind to wrap around what I’m hearing.”
“It’s almost kind of like, ‘This isn’t really happening.’ I was more in a state of shock. I would go through periods of shaking,” he said. “Then I would start to lose it a little bit and break down and cry. It was kind of like a circle. The plane rides just seemed like they took forever.”