By Mahita Gajanan
August 30, 2019

Baseball player Blake Bivens has spoken out after his wife, son and mother-in-law were found killed at a home in Virginia.

Bivens’s wife, Emily Bernard Bivens, 25; son, Cullen Bivens, 14 months; and mother-in-law Joan Denise Jefferson, 62, were found dead Tuesday in Keeling, Virginia. Bivens’s brother-in-law (Emily’s brother), Matthew Thomas Bernard, 18, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder.

“My heart was turned to ash. My life as I knew it is destroyed,” Bivens wrote in an Instagram caption that accompanied a series of photos of his family in his first public statement since they were killed. “The pain my family and I feel is unbearable and cannot be put into words.”

Bivens, a pitching prospect for the Tampa Bay Rays who currently plays for the double-A Montgomery Biscuits, wrote tributes to his wife, son and mother-in-law.

“My sweet little boy, dada loves you so much!” he wrote of his son, Cullen. “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.”

The Tampa Bay Rays offered sympathy in a statement:

Court documents filed in Bernard’s arrest say he attacked a neighbor and then ran away, the Associated Press reports. The neighbor heard gunshots next door and went to the house to find a body in the driveway. Inside the house, she found two other bodies.

Police said they found two people with gunshot wounds to the head and shell casings by the three bodies. Court documents detailed that a rifle and a sledgehammer with blood on it were discovered in a wooded area behind the house.

Bernard was arrested Tuesday after a manhunt, according to the AP. Police struck him with a baton and used pepper spray after he emerged from the woods, naked, and running to a church parking lot, officials said.

Write to Mahita Gajanan at mahita.gajanan@time.com.

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