Tampa Bay Rays Prospect Wishes Happy Birthday to Slain Wife Months After She and Son Were Killed
"Give our little pooh bear a kiss for me. I love you both so much and can’t wait to see you again," Bivens wrote
Tampa Bay Rays prospect Blake Bivens marked what would be his slain wife’s 25th birthday on Thursday with a sweet and somber post on social media.
Bivens posted a series of photos of himself and his wife, Emily Bivens, along with the couple’s 1-year-old son, Cullen. Emily and Cullen, along with Emily’s mother, Joan, were fatally shot in August, allegedly by Emily’s 19-year-old brother Matthew Bernard, who is charged with three counts of first-degree murder.
The post included a video of Bivens holding balloons beside the graves of his loved ones.
“Happy 25th Birthday in heaven, baby! I thank God everyday for letting me have you for a short time,” Bivens captioned the photos. “Your love and kindness has impacted so many people. I miss you so much. Give our little pooh bear a kiss for me. I love you both so much and can’t wait to see you again.”
AL.com, citing the criminal complaint against Bernard, reports that he allegedly first attacked a female neighbor before shooting the three victims with a rifle.
Bernard allegedly fled, prompting a manhunt that involved a tank at one point and even led to the lockdown of a nearby school.
The criminal complaint alleges Bernard emerged from the woods naked and went to a nearby church, where he allegedly choked an employee.
Police eventually took him into custody, placing him on suicide watch.
Investigators have yet to disclose a possible motive for the violence.
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Bernard is reportedly being treated at a local medical facility.
He has not yet entered a plea. His lawyer, James Martin, could not be reached for comment Friday. Bernard’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for Nov. 6.
Bivens played last year for the team’s Double-A affiliate, the Montgomery Biscuits, in Alabama
Days after his loved ones’ deaths, he shared his feelings on Instagram.
“Two days ago, my heart was turned to ash,” Bivens wrote in a post that featured a photo of Emily, Cullen and Joan.
“My life as I knew it is destroyed,” Bivens wrote. “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.”