Rays minor leaguer Blake Bivens talks about killings of 3 family members – The Denver Post

DANVILLE, Va. — Tampa Bay Rays minor leaguer Blake Bivens says he learned through social media of the deaths of three family members last summer.

Speaking publicly for what is believed to be the first time about the Aug. 28 deaths of wife Emily, 1-year-old son Culle and mother-in-law Joan Bernard, Bivens recalled details of traveling home to Keeling, Virginia, from Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he had been on a road trip with the Rays’ Double-A Montgomery affiliate.

The 24-year-old pitcher’s brother-in-law, Matthew Bernard, was arrested, charged with three counts of murder and is awaiting trial.

Bivens spoke for more than 30 minutes Sunday with interim senior pastor Travis Gore of The River Church during a conversation aired live on Facebook.

The athlete said his faith has helped him cope with the deaths.

“The only thing I really remember from the whole plane ride is I just went through periods. I just stared at the back of the seat the whole time, trying to get my mind to wrap around what I’m hearing,” Bivens said.

“It’s almost kind of like, `This isn’t really happening.’ I was more in a state of shock. I would go through periods of shaking,” he said. “Then I would start to lose it a little bit and break down and cry. It was kind of like a circle. The plane rides just seemed like they took forever.”

Bivens said he initially feared something was wrong when he awakened that day and had not received a text message from his wife.