Triple homicide suspect's uncle: "Just an all-around perfect kid"

Suspect in custody after allegedly murdering mom, sister, sister's child

By Shayne Dwyer - Reporter, Ashley Curtis - Digital Content Producer

PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY, Va. - Authorities have a suspect in custody and are investigating a triple homicide in Pittsylvania County.

Matthew Bernard, 19, allegedly killed his mother, sister, her child and a dog, according to Matthew Bernard's uncle, Bryant Bernard.

An hours-long manhunt Tuesday culminated with a chase where Bernard allegedly ran naked from behind a house toward Keeling Baptist Church. A neighbor spoke with 10 News and said officers allegedly tried pepper-spraying him, but, she said, he was unfazed. She said she saw him choke someone at the church. Deputies then hit him with batons and arrested him, she said.

Matthew Bernard's uncle said that everyone is surprised by what happened.

"In my wildest dreams, I never could have imagined it. Not him. Of all the people in this world. I never could have imagined it," Bryant Bernard said.

Bryant Bernard also said that Matthew is a student at Danville Community College who regularly attended church.

"This boy’s a Christian. Went to church every Sunday, every Wednesday, every Sunday night. Taught youth groups. Just an all-around perfect kid, in my opinion," Bryant Bernard said.

Bryant Bernard said the only explanation he can think of is that Matthew expressed to his mother last week that he was having bad dreams.

Tuesday afternoon, Pittsylvania County Sheriff Mike Taylor addressed the media about the triple homicide on Keeling Drive.

Sheriff Taylor said that in total, about 100 officers responded to the scene and arrested the suspect around 12:18 p.m.

Taylor said his office is withholding names of deceased until all family members have been notified.

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