(from the New Orleans Police Department) – The black, two-door Honda Accord registered to missing Harvey school teacher Terrilynn Monnette, was pulled from the floor of Bayou St. John this afternoon. Human remains were found inside the vehicle.
A recovery diver, Slidell Police Officer Mark Michoud, who was one of many diving experts to volunteer his services in the search for Ms. Monnette’s car, located the vehicle in the bayou shortly after 12 noon. He returned to the surface and told others that the car’s description and license plate were a match.
The car was then carefully lifted out of the water shortly before 3pm. When they arrived at the scene, Coroner’s investigators decided to load the vehicle on a truck and relocate it to their office, where they removed the remains later today. The actual autopsy will be performed Monday morning.
26-year-old Terrilynn Monnette was reported missing on Saturday, March 2nd . She was last seen at about 5am that day with friends at Parlay’s Bar in the 800-block of Harrison Avenue.
“I’m sure these last few months for Ms. Monnette’s family have been the hardest in their lives. I cannot begin to imagine what this family has been through, and I commend them for keeping Terrilynn’s photos in the news and in the public’s memory”, said Superintendent Ronal Serpas.
“Now that Ms. Monnette’s car has been found, we begin the second phase of this investigation. Both homicide detectives and our fatality unit were on the scene today, so that they can pick up where our 3rd District officers have left off, and start finding out exactly how and why the car ended up where it did”.
Serpas continued, “I want to commend the 3rd District for their tireless efforts in this case, as well as our partners in the FBI and the US Secret Service. And I also want to thank the tremendous efforts of State Representative Austin Badon and the many volunteers who worked with him and the NOPD in this case. All involved with this team effort deserve recognition.”
State Representative Austin Badon said, “The discovery of Ms. Monnette’s car today was upsetting- not only to Terrilynn’s family members, but to many members of the New Orleans community. It was touching that many residents drove to the bayou when they heard the news that the vehicle had been located. Ms. Monnette’s story very obviously touched many of us.”
“I am aware that this investigation continues, but at this time, I’d like to thank local, state and federal law enforcement for the concentrated work they’ve put into Ms. Monnette’s case”, Badon said.