Minor league baseball player Blake Bevens spoke out Thursday for the first time since the Tuesday murder of his wife, child, and mother-in-law, saying “my heart was turned to ash.”
Authorities revealed Wednesday that Beven’s 18-year-old brother-in-law Matthew Thomas Bernard allegedly murdered his sister, his mother, and his 14-month-old nephew in their southern Virginia home, according to The Washington Post. Pittsylvania County Sheriff Mike Taylor said that Bernard will be charged with three counts of first-degree murder.
“Two days ago my heart was turned to ash,” Bevens wrote in an Instagram post Thursday. “My life as I knew it is destroyed. The pain my family and I feel is unbearable and cannot be put into words. I shake and tremble at the thought of our future without them. “
“Emily, my sweetheart, you are the best wife and mother this world has ever seen. You made me into the man I am today and you loved me with all of my flaws,” he continued. “My sweet little boy, dada loves you so much! I can’t breathe without you here. I finally understood what love was when you were born and I would have done anything for you. You have changed my life forever, you are my reason why. I long to hold the both of you again in heaven.”
The murders allegedly began when Bernard punched a neighbor and ran away, according to documents The Associated Press obtained.
The neighbor heard gunshots at the house next door, drove to the house and discovered the body of Joan Bernard on the driveway. He then found the bodies of Emily and Cullen Bivens inside the house.
Authorities found both a rifle and a bloody sledgehammer in the woods. About four hours later, after television crews had set up cameras and more than 100 police had assembled to search for Bernard, the murderer ran naked out of the woods.
Video footage shows him attempting to choke a groundskeeper before being apprehended, and police said he banged his head against the cage in the police car, the documents revealed.
Authorities took Bernard to the hospital, then to jail and placed him on suicide watch, according to the AP, citing police.
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