Deputies found the body of a woman in a driveway and the bodies of another woman and a child inside the home in Keeling, Va., prompting a three-hour manhunt for the alleged killer, USA Today reported. The player was reportedly Tampa Bay Rays minor leaguer Blake Bivens.
An unarmed and naked Matthew Bernard, who is Bivens’ wife’s brother, was found running through the woods just after noon, the Danville Register & Bee reported. The 19-year-old was arrested and charged with three counts of first-degree murder, Pittsylvania County Sheriff’s Office said.
Matthew Bernard was charged with three counts of first-degree murder.
In a video obtained by WSET-TV, a naked Bernard and an officer are seen in the parking lot of the Keeling Baptist Church. The suspect strangles a man outside the church. The officer maces the suspect and chases after him before finally bringing him into custody.
The Pittsylvania County Sheriff’s Office has not released the identities or the causes of death for the three victims. ESPN’s Jeff Passan was the first to report the Virginia triple homicide was connected to Bivens. The Tampa Bay Rays later released a statement that Bivens “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,” the statement read.
Bivens, 24, pitches for the Montgomery Biscuits, a Double-A affiliate of the Tampa Bays Rays Minor League Baseball division. He began his baseball career after he was selected by the Rays out of George Washington High School in Danville, Va., in the fourth round of the 2014 draft, USA Today reported.
The Montgomery Biscuits canceled a doubleheader Tuesday with the Chattanooga Lookouts and will return to Montgomery, Ala., where they will take on the Pensacola Blue Wahoos Thursday, AL.com reported.