The wife, son, and mother-in-law of Tampa Bay Ray’s pitching prospect Blake Bivens were murdered in southern Virginia.
The suspect is said to be Matthew Thomas Bernard, the 18-year-old brother of Bivens’s wife, USA Today reported.
The incident was brought to the attention of the police when a neighbor saw a dead body on the driveway of a home located at Keeling Drive in Pittsylvania, Virginia, Daily Mail reported. Emergency services found two additional bodies inside the home. News cameras caught the police chasing a fully-nude Bernard.
EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: The suspect in a triple homicide in Pittsylvania County, 19-year-old Matthew Bernard, ran toward @KyleMWilcoxTV & @humphreyWSET while they were at a staging area — he also strangled the church's caretaker.https://t.co/4OVjvg9kkQ pic.twitter.com/cg23z2KIEX
— ABC 13 News – WSET (@ABC13News) August 27, 2019
Bernard then allegedly tried to strangle a Keeling Baptist Church groundskeeper before he was maced and tased.
Police have not released more details on the murder, but they said that the 18-year-old was earlier armed with a rifle. He was not armed at the time of his arrest.
Citizens in the Keeling area are asked to be on the look out for Matthew Bernard. White male, 19 years old, last seen wearing a white tee shirt and blue jeans. He is armed with a rifle and considered very dangerous. If seen call 911 immediately.
— Pittsylvania County Public Safety (@pittsylvania911) August 27, 2019
The victims’ relationships to Bivens were first reported by Jeff Pasan of ESPN.
Just an awful tragedy: The wife and child of Blake Bivens, a Double-A pitcher in the Tampa Bay Rays organization, were among three people killed in rural Virginia on Tuesday, sources tell ESPN. Police have charged Bivens’ wife’s brother with first-degree homicide.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) August 28, 2019
The Tampa Bay Rays organization confirmed the “terrible family tragedy” when they sent their condolences to the 24-year-old pitcher on Twitter.
“Earlier today we learned that Blake Bivens, a pitcher with our Double-A affiliate, the Montgomery Biscuits, suffered a terrible family tragedy in southern Virginia,” they said.
“Our hearts are broke for Blake,” they added. “We are grieving with him and will support him any way we can.”
“We ask that everyone respect the privacy of the Bivens family and the Biscuits family during this extremely difficult time.”
We’re with you, Blake. pic.twitter.com/gJqdUCIf7p
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) August 28, 2019
Bivens’s wife, Emily, describes her self as a “lover of Jesus, wife, mama, photographer” on her Facebook page.
The Biscuits cancelled their doubleheader with the Chattanooga Lookoutson Aug. 27, MLB reported.