Wife, One-Year-Old Son And Mother-In-Law Of Baseball Pitcher Blake Bivens 'Murdered'
The wife, one-year-old son and mother-in-law of a professional baseball player have been found dead.
The brother-in-law of Blake Bivens, who is attached to Major League Baseball's Tampa Bay Rays, has been arrested and charged with first degree murder.
The pitcher had been playing recently with Alabama's minor league Montgomery Biscuits. The Biscuits have postponed this evening's fixture as a mark of respect for the three people killed.
The suspect allegedly fled the scene naked before being arrested and charged by police.
It has also been alleged that he killed the family dog.
Twenty-four-year-old Bivens' tragic loss was confirmed on US sports broadcaster ESPN. Jeff Passan, a journalist for the outlet, tweeted: "Just an awful tragedy.
"The wife and child of Blake Bivens, a Double-A pitcher in the Tampa Bay Rays organisation, were among three people killed in rural Virginia on Tuesday, sources tell ESPN.
"Police have charged Bivens' wife's brother with first-degree homicide."
A Tampa Bay Rays statement said: "Earlier today we learned that Blake Bivens ... suffered a terrible family tragedy in southern Virginia.
"Our hearts are broken for Blake. We are grieving with him and will support him any way we can."
A statement by Minor League Baseball said: "Our thoughts & prayers are with the family, friends and teammates of Blake Bivens in the wake of a terrible family tragedy, as well as the entire Rays organisation, during this very difficult time."
Local reports in Richmond, Virginia, said the suspect was Matthew Bernard, the 19-year-old brother of Bivens' wife Emily Marie, who was seen running naked from the area.
Police officers eventually caught up to him and sprayed him with pepper spray, although this failed to stop him.
They eventually apprehended him after using their batons.
The police were alerted to the incident by concerned neighbours who called 911 after hearing shots being fired at Bivens' sister's home.
When they arrived, they discovered a woman dead on the driveway and two more bodies - including that of Bivens' one-year-old son Cullen - according to Virgina news station WSLS.
About 100 officers were involved at the scene. Local schools in were placed under lockdown during the incident while authorities searched for the suspect.
Bivens' Instagram is filled with pictures of his family, including a mention for wife Emily Marie in his biography.
He recently shared a video of his son Cullen with the caption: "Happy 1st Birthday to my little man!
"Daddy loves you!"
Featured Image Credit: Instagram