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Wife, child of Rays pitching prospect Blake Bivens murdered in Virginia by brother-in-law

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Triple Homicide: Tampa Bay Rays minor league player’s wife and child murdered by brother-in-law, reports say

— Rays Double-A prospect’s family murdered

The wife and child of Tampa Bay Rays pitching prospect Blake Bivens were killed in a triple homicide in Pittsylvania County, Virginia on Tuesday, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports.

Biven’s wife’s 18-year-old brother Matthew Thomas Bernard of Keeling, Virginia has been charged in all three murders, according to the report.

The triple homicide occurred in Keeling, Virginia. Police were called to the scene on the morning of August 27, with a neighbor calling in to report that they believed someone had been shot. The responding officer found a woman’s body in the driveway and entered the home to find another woman and a one-year-old, both deceased.

Suspect arrested after manhunt

Matthew Bernard was charged with three counts of first-degree murder.
Matthew Bernard was charged with three counts of first-degree murder.

Police arrested the suspected murderer Matthew Bernard several hours later. The 19-year-old was found naked outside of a nearby church. Pictures from the scene make it plain that he had been pepper-sprayed but appeared to be unaffected. Police chased him into a field, hit him with batons, and took him into custody at the campground owned by Bernard’s family.

Rays: ‘Our hearts are broken’

The Rays acknowledged the tragedy with a statement on Twitter Tuesday evening.

“Our hearts are broken for Blake,” the statement reads. “We are grieving with him and will support him any way we can.”

Bivens, 24, plays for the Montgomery Biscuits in Alabama. The Biscuits canceled their scheduled double-header against the Chattanooga lookouts citing a “tragic event within the Biscuits family.”

Team CEO Lou Di Bella later released a statement on Bivens.

“Earlier today, we learned that one of our players, Blake Bivens, suffered unimaginable loss,” De Bella wrote. “First and foremost, the Biscuits’ thoughts and prayers are with Blake and all those who have been impacted by this tragedy.”

The Rays selected Bivens in the fourth round of the 2014 MLB draft out of high school. He’s 4-0 with a 3.95 ERA and one save while working primarily as a relief pitcher this season.

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