Police in Louisiana believe they have found the body of missing teacher, Terrilynn Monette.
Monette’s black Honda was found by a diver submerged in a Louisiana bayou, CNN reports.
Monette, 26, was last seen leaving Parlay’s Dream Lounge in New Orleans on March 2, after celebrating her nomination for a “Teacher of the Year” award with friends.
The diver continued to look for Monette’s car in waterways long after police called off their search in March, Detective Daniel Seuzeneau of the Slidell Police Department, told CNN.
Monette’s mother, Toni Enclade, told CNN that police informed her that her daughter’s car was found with a decomposed body in the driver’s seat.
“To know that she could have possibly been there for three months,” she said, overcome with emotion.
Family and friends of the popular teacher gathered at the bayou to watch the recovery efforts. “It was not the outcome we had looked for, but we did find her,” State Rep. Austin Badon told WGNO-TV. “It allowed the family to have some sense of relief and closure.”
The diver who found the car and body, Slidell Police Officer Mark Michaud, has been “working closely with the Monette family” because of his expertise in diving recoveries, Seuzeneau said.
When Monette, of Long Beach, California, learned of the “teachNOLA” program, which sends educators to New Orleans to teach in impoverished areas, she packed her bags and headed to Louisiana.
“I always wanted to be a teacher, and what better place to teach than New Orleans, where passionate teachers are needed most?” she said in a 2011 video obtained by CNN affiliate WDSU.
In her first year of teaching second grade at Woodland West Elementary School, Monette turned one of the lowest-performing classes into one of the highest achieving.
It earned her a “Teacher of the Year” nomination in her school district.
Thanks to loyal reader Robyn Williams for the link.