The 24-year-old pitcher shared the story with Pastor Travis Gore of the River Church in Danville, Virginia, in a live interview Sunday, eight months after the triple homicide.
Bivens, who was in Tennessee at the time to complete a series of games with Tampa Bay Rays Double-A affiliate Montgomery Biscuits, said the morning of their death was “complete mayhem”.
It started at 9 am when he woke up to prepare for a game. He checked his phone and, seeing no messages from his wife, decided to check Facebook.
“As soon as I clicked on Facebook, I just saw a title, and the title was just (that they) were looking for my brother-in-law. And so I knew there was something going on, so I immediately called my parents, “said Bivens.
About 30 minutes later, Bivens was at the airport ready to go home. He continued to try to call his wife but got no response. He decided to go to Facebook hoping to get more information when his eyes landed on the first title: a story about two women and a child who were killed.
“I knew right away that it was them. I discovered that my family had lost the Facebook title. And I immediately started screaming in the middle of the airport, “he said.
Bivens’ stepmother, Joan Denise Jefferson Bernard, 62; his wife Emily Bernard Bivens, 25; and their son, Cullen Micah Bivens, 14 months old, were found dead that day in August 2019 in a city in southern Virginia. Bivens’ wife’s brother Matthew Thomas Bernard was arrested and charged with three counts of first degree murder in August.
A moment after making the disturbing discovery, Bivens received a call from Montgomery Biscuits director Morgan Ensberg, who accompanied him home.
“The only thing I really remember from the whole plane ride is that I went through periods – I just looked at the seat back all the time, trying to make myself understand what I hear , “Said Bivens.
“It’s almost a bit like that, it doesn’t really happen. And I was (I was) even more in a state of shock. I was going through periods of tremors and then I started to lose a little and break down and cry. And it was just a kind of circle and the air travel just seemed to take forever.
The pitcher told Gore that his faith in God was his greatest comfort as he continued to heal from the devastating loss of his family.