Suspect's car found as manhunt continues in Florida triple murder

Reuters News
Posted: Dec 05, 2014 11:24 AM

TAMPA, Fla. (Reuters) - A manhunt intensified on Friday for a suspect accused of killing his wife and her friend before shooting dead a pastor at a Florida church, after police said they had found the SUV the man was last seen driving but were still searching for him.

Andres "Andy" Avalos' gold Chevrolet Suburban was found late Thursday at a Walmart store near the crime scenes of the triple homicide in Bradenton, Florida, about 45 miles south of Tampa, the Manatee County Sheriff's Office said.

Earlier in the day, Avalos, 33, allegedly shot dead pastor James "Tripp" Battle, 31, at Bayshore Baptist Church after killing his own wife and her friend at a nearby home, according to authorities.

Police have not said how Amber Avalos, also 33, and Denise Potter, 46, died.

Amber Avalos was the nursery and children's director at the church and had six children with her husband, according to the church's website. The children were all safe, police have said.

(Reporting by Letitia Stein; Editing by Colleen Jenkins)