Baseball player Blake Bivens has spoken out after his wife, son and mother-in-law were found killed at a home in Virginia.
Bivens’s wife, Emily Bernard Bivens, 25; son, Cullen Bivens, 14 months; and mother-in-law Joan Denise Jefferson, 62, were found dead Tuesday in Keeling, Virginia. Bivens’s brother-in-law (Emily’s brother), Matthew Thomas Bernard, 18, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder.
“My heart was turned to ash. My life as I knew it is destroyed,” Bivens wrote in an Instagram caption that accompanied a series of photos of his family in his first public statement since they were killed. “The pain my family and I feel is unbearable and cannot be put into words.”
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.
A post shared by Blake Bivens (@blakebbins) on Aug 29, 2019 at 6:55pm PDT
Bivens, a pitching prospect for the Tampa Bay Rays who currently plays for the double-A Montgomery Biscuits, wrote tributes to his wife, son and mother-in-law.
“My sweet little boy, dada loves you so much!” he wrote of his son, Cullen. “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.”
The Tampa Bay Rays offered sympathy in a statement:
Court documents filed in Bernard’s arrest say he attacked a neighbor and then ran away, the Associated Press reports. The neighbor heard gunshots next door and went to the house to find a body in the driveway. Inside the house, she found two other bodies.
Police said they found two people with gunshot wounds to the head and shell casings by the three bodies. Court documents detailed that a rifle and a sledgehammer with blood on it were discovered in a wooded area behind the house.
Bernard was arrested Tuesday after a manhunt, according to the AP. Police struck him with a baton and used pepper spray after he emerged from the woods, naked, and running to a church parking lot, officials said.