New details have appeared about the 19-year-old Virginia man accused of throwing the wife, baby son, mother-in-law and dog of a Tampa Bay Rays – with the suspect's uncle who describes him as a devout Christian and a & # 39; around perfect child. & # 39;
Matthew Bernard was arrested Tuesday after leading the police on a naked chase through rural Virginia and was charged with three counts of first-degree murder.
Blake Bivens, a 24-year-old pitcher with the Ray & # 39; s Double-A branch of the Montgomery Biscuits, heard a few hours before a planned double header about the slaughter of his family.
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Matthew Bernard, 19, is charged with three counts of first-degree murder. He is accused of murdering his mother, Joan Bernard, his sister Emily and his baby nephew, Cullen (right)
His wife Emily, the one-year-old son Cullen and the mother of Emily, 62-year-old Joan Bernard, were found dead in their home.
Matthew Bernard's uncle, Bryant Bernard, spoke to the station WSLS after the dramatic shot of his cousin, who was playing in front of news cameras, saying he was stunned by what was happening.
& # 39; In my wildest dreams I could never have imagined. Not him. From all people in this world. I could never have imagined it, & # 39; Bryant Bernard said.
The uncle said that Matthew is a student at Danville Community College who regularly attended church.
The college was closed during the one-hour search for Bernard in the aftermath of the murders.
& # 39; This boy is a Christian. Went to church every Sunday, every Wednesday, every Sunday evening. Taught youth groups. In my opinion, just a perfect child, & said the suspect's uncle.
The police have said nothing about a possible motive so far, but Bryant has revealed that last week his cousin had entrusted his mother with having bad dreams. He didn't go into details.
A family member who expresses the victims on Facebook blames Bernard for the problems with mental health problems.
& # 39; I know you all forgave Matthew because he didn't know what he was doing & # 39 ;, wrote the family member. & # 39; Mental illness is unfortunately still alive and I am sorry that it has hit our family so hard, but I will always love you, including Matthew with all my heart because I know the real one! & # 39;
& # 39; Earlier today we heard that Blake Bivens, a pitcher at our Double-A branch, the Montgomery Biscuits, had undergone a terrible family tragedy in southern Virginia, & # 39; said the Rays in a statement.
The killed wife and child of Ray's prospect Blake Bivens are seen on the right with him and on the left
Bivens throws in 2016 for the Single-A Bowling Green Hot Rods. He went to Double-A through the organization and is considered a hot prospect
& # 39; Our hearts are broken for Blake. We grieve with him and will support him in every possible way. We ask that everyone respect the privacy of the Bivens family and the Biscuits family in this extremely difficult time, & the statement continued.
The Biscuits canceled both games scheduled for Tuesday on the news of the murders.
The victims were first publicly identified as members of the Bivens family by ESPN reporter Jeff Passan.
The police did not publicly explain how they believe the murders were committed, although they claimed that Bernard was armed with a gun.
The office of the medical researcher in Roanoke will officially determine the cause and method of death.
Bivens, a right-handed pitcher, was selected by the Rays in the fourth round of the First-Year Player Draft 2014 of the Washington High School in Danville, Virginia.
Bivens married his wife Emily in 2016. Their son Cullen Micah Bivens became one in June, according to social media reports.
Emily was a photographer and devout Christian, showing her Facebook page.
Emily and young Cullen are watching one of the Bivens games earlier this month. The mother and child were brutally killed on Tuesday morning
Bivens can be seen in a Charlotte Stone Crabs uniform with his wife and son last year
Emily and Bevins married in 2016 and their son was born in June 2018
The tragic affair unfolded on Tuesday morning at about 8:00 am, when a neighbor saw a body in the driveway of a house on Keeling Drive in Pittsburgh, Virginia.
Police and paramedics rushed to the stage and found two extra bodies in the house.
Bernard was immediately mentioned as a suspect and the police issued a public warning to watch the teenager.
& # 39; He is armed with a gun and is considered very dangerous, & # 39; said the warning.
Within a few hours, Bernard was seen in the area, completely naked.
The police chase unfolded in front of news cameras that had been staged in the area.
& # 39; Kyle Wilcox of ABC 13 was in the media staging area when Bernard walked past reporters, & # 39; WSET TV reported.
Bernard is said to have attacked a Keeling Baptist Church landowner in an attempt to strangle him.
Police officers bore and imprisoned Bernard in vain and captured him as he tried to run to the nearby murder scene
Bernard went straight into a rampage in the media staging area, ran naked past the cameras & tried to strangle the ground guard in Keeling Baptist Church
After attacking the groundman, Bernard kept running towards the murder scene, unhindered by bat and police bats, until he was wrestled on the ground
Video from WSET shows the moment when Bernard runs after a police officer who sprays him on the grounds of the church with mace.
Bernard sounds a little screaming before he ran to the ground guard and tried to choke him.
The officer then ran to the older man and Bernard ran away again.
He then saw the road running where a police car and several other officers were waiting to taser and arrest him.
When he was arrested, Bernard was not armed with a weapon.
Authorities said it was unclear what was the cause of the rampage. Bernard is being treated in a local medical facility. The investigation continues.
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