Tampa Bay Rays pitching prospect’s family killed by wife’s brother, who then attacked others while naked

Kirsten Fiscus, Montgomery Advertiser, Ala.

Montgomery Biscuits pitcher Blake Bivens is mourning the loss of his wife and child after they were found dead in a triple homicide in Virginia on Tuesday, according to reports.

The Biscuits initially posted a message on Facebook Tuesday afternoon mentioning that there was “a tragic event” and canceled a doubleheader in Chattanooga and postponed a charity event in Montgomery as a result.

The team declined to give details about the event and asked for privacy. Hours later, the Tampa Bay Rays, the parent organization of the Montgomery Biscuits, posted a message to Twitter.

“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.”

Jeff Passan, a reporter with ESPN, tweeted that Biven’s wife, young child and mother-in-law were among the victims of a triple slaying in the Keeling area of Pittsylvania County, Virginia.

The Biscuits CEO and Managing Owner Lou DiBella released a statement about Bivens’ “unimaginable loss.”

“First and foremost, the Biscuits thoughts and prayers are with Blake and all of 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,” he said.

According to reports from the local Chatham Star Tribune, Matthew Thomas Bernard, 18, was charged with murder in the three deaths. Passan identified Bernard as the brother of Bivens’ wife. Law Enforcement officials in the area had not released the names of the victims by Tuesday night.

Thomas Bernard.

The team was scheduled to play the last two of a five-game series in Chattanooga against the Lookouts after the game Monday was cancelled due to rain.

A message from the Lookouts posted on Twitter offered their sympathies to the team.

“Our thoughts are with the entire Tampa Bay Rays and Montgomery Biscuits organizations at this time,” Lookouts President Rich Mozingo was quoted as saying. “We want to express our deepest condolences and symptahties to the Biscuits family.”

The Biscuits were scheduled to host a fundraiser through their foundation, the Biscuits Charitable Foundation, Wednesday evening. An email from the Biscuit’s General Manager, Mike Murphy, said the event would be rescheduled, but no date was yet set.

Contact Montgomery Advertiser reporter Kirsten Fiscus at 334-318-1798 or KFiscus@gannett.com. Follow her on Twitter @KDFiscus


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