Charged

Matthew Thomas Bernard, 18, of Keeling was charged with three counts of first degree murder for allegedly killing Emily Bernard Bivens, Joan Bernard, and an infant. 

A warrant obtained Friday, Sept. 20 in the Pittsylvania County Circuit Court Clerk's Office states a cell phone found in the bedroom of Matthew Thomas Bernard, 18, had two missed calls from "mom" at approximately 8:02 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 27. 

Three minutes after the last missed call, Rachel Jefferson called 911 after finding Joan Denise Jefferson Bernard, 62, in the driveway at 1949 Keeling Drive. 

"On August 27, 2019 at approximately 8:05 a.m., a Ms. Rachel Jefferson, called 911 to report the incident at 1949 Keeling Dr.," the warrant states. 

On Aug. 27, officers found Joan Bernard, 62, Emily Bernard Bivens, 25; and Cullen Micah Bivens, 14 months old dead in the home at 1949 Keeling Drive. 

Matthew Bernard was nowhere to be found according to the warrant. A previously obtained warrant stated his phone was found outside. 

Additionally, the warrant states Matthew Bernard's father told investigators where his son's room was in the home. It was in that room that investigators located the cell phone with the missed phone calls. 

"Inv. Baxter informed your affiant that when he picked up the phone, the [display] showed two missed calls from 'mom' on face of cell phone," the warrant states. 

Around 12:15 p.m. on Aug. 27, Matthew Bernard was apprehended by law enforcement officials on Keeling Drive. Subsequently, he was charged with three counts of first degree murder. 

A preliminary hearing has been set for Wednesday, Nov. 6 at 9 a.m. in Pittsylvania County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. 

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