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Rays minor leaguer talks about killings of wife, son, and mother-in-law

Blake Bivens says he learned through social media of the deaths of three family members last summer.

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

He spoke publicly for what's believed to be the first time since his wife, young son, and mother-in-law were killed on August 28, 2019.

Bivens recalled details of traveling home to Keeling, Virginia, from Chattanooga, Tennessee.

That's where he had been on a road trip with the Rays’ Double-A Montgomery affiliate. 

"First headline I see is two females and a small child were gone," Bivens said. "I immediately knew that was them. I found out my family was gone over a Facebook headline. I just immediately began to scream in the middle of the airport.''

Bivens spoke for more than 30 minutes with the pastor of The River Church in Danville, Virginia, on Sunday.

The conversation was aired live Facebook and can also be found on YouTube.

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

In the months since his family was killed, Bivens has visited with his Rays teammates and pitched in Australia. He was preparing for spring training when the coronavirus pandemic struck, according to ESPN.

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