Manhunt continues, reward offered for Florida pastor's killer

by Will Hall, |

BRADENTON, Fla. (Christian Examiner) – Police are continuing their manhunt for an "armed and dangerous" Andrés "Andy" Avalos for the murder of Pastor James "Tripp" Battle, Avalos' wife, Amber, and her friend Denise Potter.

Avalos was last seen driving a gold Chevrolet Suburban on Thursday, but the vehicle was found abandoned in a local WalMart parking lot, the Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported this morning.

Officials said Avalos "remains at large" but that a local group has posted a reward for his capture.

The Gold Star Club of Manatee County "is offering a reward of up to $15,000" for Avalos' arrest for the triple murder, according to the sheriff's office. This local group raises reward money for murder and serious crimes in the Bradenton community. Anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers at 866-634-TIPS or the sheriff's office directly at 941-747-3011, ext. 2159.

Battle was killed in the courtyard of his church, Bayshore Baptist, yesterday, but the two women were found later at the Avalos home. Amber Avalos and Denise Potter cleaned homes together and had met to begin work.

The Avalos have six children but were estranged. Potter has two sons, ages 14 and 7. Amber Avalos also worked at Bayshore Baptist as the nursery director.

Andres Avalos has previous arrests including a DUI charge in 2012.


Southern Baptist pastor killed in triple murder