'I Began to Scream in the Middle of the Airport'

Minor league player Blake Bivens recounts how he learned of his family's August murders
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 6, 2020 12:59 PM CDT
Pitcher Says He Learned of Family's Murder on Facebook
Before a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians, Tampa Bay Rays players stand for a moment of silence in support of Montgomery Biscuit player Blake Bivens whose family was murdered, on Aug. 30, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Fla.   (AP Photo/Scott Audette)

"I found out my family was gone over a Facebook headline." So says Blake Bivens, the Tampa Bay Rays pitching prospect whose wife, infant son, and mother-in-law were murdered in August. Eight months after the crime—for which Bivens' brother-in-law is charged—the 24-year-old sat down with pastor Travis Gore to discuss the worst day of his life. It was a game day for the pitcher, who had traveled to Tennessee with the minor league Montgomery Biscuits, per CNN. But he was distracted as he woke up and checked his phone, finding no message from his wife. "As soon as I clicked on Facebook, I just saw a headline," describing a search for his brother-in-law, Bivens says. Unable to reach his wife, he headed to the airport so he could get home to Virginia. He then checked Facebook again.

The first headline he read described the murders of two women and a child. "I immediately knew that was them," Bivens says. "And I just immediately began to scream in the middle of the airport." On the flight home, "I just stared at the back of the seat the whole time, trying to get my mind to wrap around what I'm hearing," he says. But "the hardest moment for me was when I got home and I walked in my son's bedroom … and realized I was never going to see him on this earth again,'' he says, per Today. Since then, the athlete has found comfort in his faith in God. "I know [my family is] in the arms of Jesus, and they're waiting for me to be there with them," he says. (The full interview is here.)

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