Terrilyn Monette's car found in Bayou St. John

Published: Jun. 9, 2013 at 2:37 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 29, 2016 at 8:56 PM CDT
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New Orleans -- The car belonging to missing teacher Terrilyn Monette is pulled out of Bayou St. John, with a body inside. The coroner now works to determine if the body is in fact, Monette. The discovery was made at around noon Saturday near the intersection of Harrison Avenue and Wisner Boulevard.

For three months search teams and police have looked for 26-year-old Terrilyn Monette. Saturday, her Honda Accord was discovered at the bottom of Bayou St. John, by a diver using sonar equipment.

State Rep. Austin Badon explains, "When you look at the state of the car, the level of the decomposition of the body that car had been in the water for three months plus now."

This particular section of Bayou St. John had been searched at least twice before by divers but they were never able to find anything. Saturday, it was a volunteer diver with the Slidell Police Department who found Monnette's car.

"It could've easily been missed and just fortunately we found it, that's neither here nor there I guess but fortunately we found it and that's what's good," said diver Mark Michaud.

As crews pulled the car out of the water, Monette's family stood by...watching. Monette's mom, and other relatives happened to be in town from California to search for her, when they got the news. "I had to tell them directly that we are 99 percent sure that we have found your daughter and it is not the outcome that we had all hoped for, but we have found your daughter," explained Badon.

Monette was last seen March 2nd, leaving Parlay's bar in Lakeview. Surveillance cameras showed her car leaving the parking lot, heading toward City Park, and making a left on Marconi Drive. Police aren't quite sure how Monnette's car ended up here...at Harrison and Wisner.

Monette's cousin says he feel some sense of closure today but didn't want this case to end this way. One of Monette's friends added, "You always hope for the best and then this happens, and its like why?"

The search for Monette became a community wide effort over the past several months, with many volunteering their time to look for the missing teacher. A number of those volunteers showed up to Bayou St. John Saturday...to see the end to this tragic story.

The Orleans Parish coroner will perform an autopsy of the body Monday.