Wife, son of Rays pitching prospect killed in Pittsylvania County triple homicide
Blake Bivens graduated from George Washington High School in Danville
PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY, Va. – The wife and 14-month-old son of Tampa Bay Rays pitching prospect Blake Bivens were killed in Tuesday's triple homicide in Pittsylvania County.
Bivens' wife, Emily, and their son, Cullen, as well as Bivens' mother-in-law, Joan Bernard, were all killed by Bivens' brother-in-law, Matthew Bernard, according to the suspect's uncle, Bryant Bernard.
Autopsies are scheduled to be performed for all three on Wednesday.
Blake Bivens, currently a pitcher for the Montgomery Biscuits, a Double-A affiliate, graduated from George Washington High School in Danville in 2014.
Bivens was drafted by the Rays in the fourth round of the 2014 MLB Draft.
Tuesday night's scheduled double-header for the Biscuits was canceled after the murders.
After the announcement of the cancellation, Biscuits CEO and managing owner released this statement:
"Earlier today, we learned that one of our players, Blake Bivens, suffered unimaginable loss. First and foremost, the Biscuits thoughts and prayers are with Blake and all those who have been impacted by this tragedy. We appreciate the outpouring of support and concern, but ask that you respect the privacy of the family during this difficult time."
The Tampa Bay Rays also released a statement Tuesday night:
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. Our hearts are broken for Blake. 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.
Our Baseball Life, a resource guide for professional baseball families, posted this statement late Tuesday night:
We are devastated by the loss of our friend and fellow baseball wife, Emily Bivens, her son Cullen and her mother. Emily had an incredible heart for the Lord and shared His light to many through her writings in Baseball Chapel. She deeply loved this community of baseball women and was a comforting, kind soul to all who knew her. Our hearts are with her husband Blake and her family during this unimaginable time.
Emily designed one of the very first things we ever had in our shop, a print to remind us all that no matter where we go, we are always home when we’re together. The digital version is available in our shop and 100% of the proceeds will go to Emily’s husband, Blake. We hope this print, designed by our beautiful friend, will be a peaceful reminder of her love for this community.
We have also set up a GoFundMe account for those who want to donate directly. gofundme.com/f/emily-bivens-family-fund
That GoFundMe account has already raised more than $17,000 that will be given to Blake.
Our Baseball Life is also selling a digital print, designed by Emily, and all proceeds will go to Blake as well.
Matthew Bernard is charged with three counts of first-degree murder.
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