Summer 2024

Blake Bivens thanks God in heartfelt message to slain wife, son, mother-in-law

Two days after learning his wife, son and mother-in-law had been murdered,  Tampa Bay Rays Double-A pitching prospect Blake Bivens shared a touching message on Instagram on Thursday.

Emily and Cullen Bivens — Blake’s wife and 1-year-old son — along with Joan Bernard — Emily’s mother and Blake’s mother-in-law — were found shot and killed Tuesday morning in Virginia. Matthew Bernard, Emily’s brother, has been arrested and charged with three counts of first-degree murder.

Along with several pictures, Blake wrote, “Two days ago my heart was turned to ash. 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.”

To Emily, who was a devout follower of Jesus and a contributor to, Blake wrote, “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.”

To Cullen he wrote, “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.”

To Joan he wrote, “You were the best mother-in-law anyone could ask for. You loved your family more than anyone I’ve ever seen.”

Blake even had a message for Skip Bernard, his father-in-law: “You are a wonderful father and grandfather. We will get through this together as a family. We will not let the devil win!”

Blake closed by thanking God for his wonderful family, and thanking everyone who has reached out with support.

“I am comforted by all the messages and well wishes,” Blake wrote. “I’m not sure what is next for me, but I do know God has a plan even though I can’t see it.”

Please join us in continued prayer for the Bivens and Bernard families during this terribly tough time.

Wife, child, mother-in-law of Tampa Bay pitching prospect Blake Bivens murdered