EMMETT, Idaho (KLFY)– Everette Jackson, Louisiana State University Eunice number 21, standout basketball player was officially reported missing on Saturday, June 11.
News 10’s Rodricka Taylor spoke with Jackson’s family. Jackson’s sister told News 10 the family traveled to Idaho on one-way tickets to join the search for her brother. For the Jackson family, there is hope Everette is still alive.
“We are terrified. We’re praying. We’re keeping the faith, but this is something we never intend in life we would have to experience,” said Meagan Jackson, Everette’s sister.
Meagan is the oldest sister on Jackson’s mother’s side. She said family members, including herself, her sister, Everett’s sister on his dad’s side, and his two nieces, were searching the Payette river around 8:40 a.m. According to the sister, around 11 a.m. Gem County Sherriff’s office had a team exploring the river in boats and helicopters. Jackson said the team searched until they were out of fuel.
“He’s never been without us, and I know he’s scared, and me as his older sister knowing he’s scared is hurting me, but I’m trying to keep strong for my mom,” said Jackson. “My biggest focus is finding my brother and bringing him back home to my mom safe.”
Everette’s girlfriend told the family the water was too strong it caused him to fall off his tube while tubing with friends in the Payette River.
Gem County Sherriff’s Office released a statement on June 13 about the dangerous water.
“The Gem County Sheriff’s Office (GCSO) continues to search the Payette River west of the Washington Street bridge in Emmett and downstream towards Letha. GCSO received a report that on Saturday, June 11, 2022, at approximately 8:00 p.m., twenty-two-year-old Everett Jackson fell from a raft along the river and is currently missing. Jackson’s family has been notified. GCSO continues to search by jet ski and jet boat and asks that the public stay clear of the river as they search. The Payette River is currently flowing at a rate that presents a danger to anyone not using a motorized craft.”
“It hurts so bad because she visited him, and we sent her back home safe to her family, and we couldn’t get the same flavor in return,” said Jackson.
She remembers her brother as being a loving and kind person. She says even if it’s a stranger, Everette would do all he could to help.
“Everybody that encounters him falls in love with him. Whether it’s teachers, coaches, strangers, friends,” she said. “He’s all about family. His world is family. We are a very close-founded family, so we so badly need to find him.”
Everette is also a member of the LSUE men’s basketball team 2020-21 season. Head coach Byron Starks weighs in about Everette’s personality and display as a player.
“Most of the guys who associated with him treated him like a brother. He treated them like a brother,” said coach Starks. “He was one who could always bring guys to the Walmart, anywhere they needed to go around the town.”
He said he held high esteem for Jackson as he was a fine young man. He was always involved with the campus fellowship with Christian Athletes.
“I know our LSUE family, a lot of those individuals are concerned and grieving because we’re not 100% sure what’s happened to him, and until we find out for sure, we just kind of hold our hope that everything will be okay,” he said.
The sister adds, “We just ask for continuous prayers and send positive energy our way. I know it’s a long stretch, but if anyone is willing to come to help us volunteer to search for him, we would truly appreciate it.”
If you want to help support the family, they have set up a GoFundMe account.