Slidell recovery diver talks about finding missing teacher's car - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Slidell recovery diver talks about finding missing teacher's car

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New Orleans, LA -- State Representative, Austin Badon and Mark Michaud of the Slidell Police Department say they are grief stricken, but relieved to find the car of missing 26-year old school teacher Terrilynn Monette.

Michaud talks to Fox 8, about that very moment he located her black Honda Accord in Bayou St. John.

Around 9:00 a.m. Saturday, Michaud set off on a volunteer search effort in Bayou St. John to find Monette.

Michaud and Badon had already mapped out a plan for the search.

Michaud would target five cars that were in the bayou at Harrison Avenue and Wisner Boulevard.

"The first target that I hit was actually her car," says Michaud.

He came back on land and called Badon who organized the massive search effort that started back on April 8th.

"Terrilynn's mother was at a random site along Bayou St. John," says Badon. "She actually got on the boat, and Mark actually showed her his monitor."

Around 11:00 a.m., Michaud suited up and swam down to the target.

"And immediately I saw the trunk and I could see the trunk and the Honda symbol. And when I saw that I moved down to the license plate and at that point I wiped the license plate off cause it was covered in silt," says Michaud.

When Michaud surfaced, Badon was there waiting for him.

"He looked me in the eye, he gave me the license plate told me the make and model and there was a body within the car and he was a hundred percent sure," says Badon.

"The growth on the car was conducive to it having been there that long. It was very clear that there was lots and lots of growth when I surfaced and looked back to Harrison Road Bridge and looked back to Wisner, you could see where a vehicle could come off and many times in that area you tire tracks maybe a ding on a curb," says Michaud.

Moments later Badon contacted Monette's mother, Toni Enclade, and called New Orleans Police Chief Ronal Serpas who sent officers from the traffic division, homicide detectives and missing persons unit.

When officers arrived, Michaud and Badon told officers they believed they found the 26-year-old teacher.

"And it was more of a satisfying smile or happiness like we're about to end this," says Michaud. "She's about to go home to her people, the wait is no longer."

"We lost a really nice person, a dynamic person, someone who taught our biggest asset our children," says Badon. "She came to the New Orleans area to teach and she's lost."

New Orleans Police couldn't say if the remains found inside the car do in fact belong to Monette. An autopsy is scheduled for Monday.

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