Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Missing Teacher Terrilyn Monette’s Car Found, Body Inside

Terrilynn Monette

Terrilyn Monette

On Saturday, June 8, 2013, authorities recovered the Black Honda Accord belonging to missing New Orleans teacher Terrilyn Monette. Inside the car, police found a badly decomposed body. It was not immediately apparent whether the remains were male or female. An autopsy is scheduled for Monday.

Terrilyn Monette was last seen with friends at a bar on March 2, 2013, celebrating a teacher-of-the year award. The California native had moved to New Orleans to put her teaching skills to work in a place where she felt they were most needed. Her friends left her in her car outside the bar to sleep before driving herself home, but she never made it home. Investigators determined that Monette left the bar’s parking lot at 5:15 a.m. A traffic cam recorded her making a turn in New Orleans’ City Park, but after that investigators lost her trail. Searchers had reportedly already run sonar at the Bayou St. John where her car was found, since it was on her way home from the bar, but hadn’t gotten any hits.

Louisiana state Rep. Austin Badon told the AP that he was behind this most recent search, “We decided to sonar this area again, and more heavily, and it got a hit.” A diver working with Badon searched the area and discovered the car covered in a layer of slime. On opening the car, police found a “heavily decomposed” body inside, according to Badon. An autopsy scheduled for June 10 may provide more answers not just for investigators, but also for Monette’s family and friends.

Missing Teacher: Terrilynn Monette

Update: Missing Mother Jessica Heeringa

Still Missing: Kara Nichols

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