Elberta community remembers 17-year-old Avery Pickle as compassionate, good friend

BY TREVOR RITCHIE
Reporter
trevor@gulfcoastmedia.com
Posted 7/10/24

Officials are initially ruling the death of 17-year-old Elberta native Avery Pickle, who was reported missing on July 4 and found dead early July 5 in the Palmetto Creek waters around Pirate Cove, an …

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Elberta community remembers 17-year-old Avery Pickle as compassionate, good friend

Posted

Officials are initially ruling the death of 17-year-old Elberta native Avery Pickle, who was reported missing on July 4 and found dead early July 5 in the Palmetto Creek waters around Pirate Cove, an accidental drowning.

Lt. Andrew Ashton with the Baldwin County Sheriff's Office confirmed with Gulf Coast Media that an autopsy on Pickle was completed, with preliminary results ruling the incident an accidental drowning.

Final autopsy and toxicology reports are still pending, according to the sheriff's office.

Pickle, who was a member of the Elberta High School football and wrestling teams, has had countless memories and tributes shared through the "In Memory of Avery Pickle" page on Facebook. A "48 for 48" sign has been posted above the Elberta High locker room doors, with respect to his jersey number, and a bouquet of flowers was left on the field in his honor as well. Multiple friends and teammates also joined together to commemorate Pickle through artwork, now donning replicas of his signature "three ducks" tattoo alongside his death date in Roman numerals.

"We love you buddy," friend Trey Ridenour wrote on Facebook, sharing photos of the tattoos. "Not a day's gonna go by where we won’t see this and be reminded of all the good times we shared. I know you were with us in that tattoo shop listening to us talk about all the good times we had, smiling and laughing with us."

"We were neighbors for a while with some of Avery’s family," Jackie Blakeney posted. "[Pickle]'s mom also worked at the same company for a while with my husband. Our kids grew up playing with Avery and his brother, Austin. I remember Avery running around trying to keep up with the oldest kids when he was just a toddler. He always had a smile on his face and so very polite, always saying 'thank you' and 'yes ma’am, Ms. Jackie.' Even at such a young age, he always impressed me with his manners. He absolutely adored our animals. We had a boxer that Avery called his best buddy! We had goats and a pot belly pig. He liked the pig but was never too sure about the goats. (...) My heart hurts for this family. Please let them find the answers they so desperately need. All of you are in our thoughts."

"Avery was and always will be my youngest grandchild and my rock when his mom was out at work," Faye Baker wrote. "I helped her raise him for most of his sweet life. He was the most compassionate young man from the time he could talk. He will forever be loved and missed much more than mere words can express by everyone that had the special gift of being a part of his life. He had such a beautiful soul. I know he is singing and dancing in the sky. Nanni will always have you in her heart, sweet Avery."

A public memorial service for Pickle is set to be held at the Elberta High School Gymnasium on Friday, July 12, at 6:30 p.m.