Tampa Bay Rays prospect Blake Bivens marked what would be his slain wife’s 25th birthday on Thursday with a sweet and somber post on social media.
Bivens posted a series of photos of himself and his wife, Emily Bivens, along with the couple’s 1-year-old son, Cullen. Emily and Cullen, along with Emily’s mother, Joan, were fatally shot in August, allegedly by Emily’s 19-year-old brother Matthew Bernard, who is charged with three counts of first-degree murder.
The post included a video of Bivens holding balloons beside the graves of his loved ones.
“Happy 25th Birthday in heaven, baby! I thank God everyday for letting me have you for a short time,” Bivens captioned the photos. “Your love and kindness has impacted so many people. I miss you so much. Give our little pooh bear a kiss for me. I love you both so much and can’t wait to see you again.”
AL.com, citing the criminal complaint against Bernard, reports that he allegedly first attacked a female neighbor before shooting the three victims with a rifle.
Bernard allegedly fled, prompting a manhunt that involved a tank at one point and even led to the lockdown of a nearby school.
The criminal complaint alleges Bernard emerged from the woods naked and went to a nearby church, where he allegedly choked an employee.
Police eventually took him into custody, placing him on suicide watch.
Investigators have yet to disclose a possible motive for the violence.
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Bernard is reportedly being treated at a local medical facility.
He has not yet entered a plea. His lawyer, James Martin, could not be reached for comment Friday. Bernard’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for Nov. 6.
Bivens played last year for the team’s Double-A affiliate, the Montgomery Biscuits, in Alabama
Days after his loved ones’ deaths, he shared his feelings on Instagram.
“Two days ago, my heart was turned to ash,” Bivens wrote in a post that featured a photo of Emily, Cullen and Joan.
“My life as I knew it is destroyed,” Bivens wrote. “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.”