Missing Louisiana teacher Terrilynn Monette’s car found with body inside


 Terrilynn Monette, 26, was last seen March 2 leaving Parlay’s Dream Lounge in New Orleans, where she had been celebrating with friends her nomination for a “Teacher of the Year” award. After going to the bar, the friends left her at her car. The friends told local police that she planned to sleep before driving home. At about 5:15 that morning, she was last seen by a traffic camera that captured her making a turn into a New Orleans city park.

Since March, independent searchers and rescue teams from Texas volunteered and searched the lagoons and waterways that Monette would have had to drive across to get from the bar to her home including the bayou.

Finally on June 8, a car with a decomposed body inside believed to be that of the missing teacher was found Saturday in a bayou in New Orleans.

Monette’s mother, Toni Enclade, revealed that she has been notified that her daughter’s car was found but the identity of the body found in the car hasn’t been revealed. “To know that she could have possibly been there for three months,” she said overcome with emotion, “I can’t even begin to go there right now; I’m in shock. I can’t believe this. I just can’t believe this.”

Monette’s family had been flying in and out of New Orleans from California to help look for her since they accused the New Orleans Police Department of mishandling the case.  On Friday, the family flew in to attend a prayer vigil and to appeal for FBI intervention, which they had been denied earlier in the case.

“I don’t understand why it took them so long to find her car,” Enclade told a local news station. “This is supposedly one of the first places they would have checked. I’m just overwhelmed. It doesn’t make sense.”

Louisiana State Representative Austin Badon helped lead the independent  search. Badon and a volunteer diver resurveyed the waterway and found the car. “Unfortunately, it wasn’t what we were looking for in terms of finding her alive and well, but it does bring the family some closure,” Badon said.

John Gagliano, the Orleans Parish coroner’s chief investigator, said he could not immediately tell if the body was a man or a woman. Gagliano told the family that an autopsy will be performed Monday to identify the body and the exact cause of death.

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