New Orleans, LA — Missing teacher Terrilynn Monette’s 2012 Honda Accord was pulled out of Bayou St. John on Saturday with a decomposing body inside of it. Although the autopsy won’t be performed until Monday, investigators believe that the body is likely that of the 26-year-old teacher who has been sought for over three months.
We’re still awaiting toxicology results. However, judging from the location of the submerged vehicle near the Harrison Avenue and Wisner Boulevard bridge, many people now assume that Terrilynn Monette ran off the road in the early morning hours of March 2 to drown in the murky waters of Bayou St. John.
And that means the New Orleans Police Department is going to be facing some hard questions. The missing teacher’s mother, Toni Enclade, cried as she asked a key question of a New Orleans Times-Picayune reporter:
“I don’t understand why it took them so long to find her car. This is supposedly one of the first places they would have checked. I’m just overwhelmed. It doesn’t make sense.”
She’s right. It really doesn’t. The Inquisitr has a full report with a video describing how a volunteer from the nearby Slidell Police Department found the car on Saturday. The short version is that diver Mike Michaud used his 17-foot sonar-equipped boat to find the car in its submerged location near the bridge.
Then he dived in to confirm that the car was actually there.
There is no shortage of boats or even sonar-equipped boats in Lakeview. And there was no shortage of clues that the missing teacher, who was last seen at a Lakeview bar where the bartender was forced to cut her off, may have been an impaired driver.
Her friends said they let her go because she told them that she planned to sleep in her car before driving off.
Police did look into that story, saying that they used magnets to search Bayou St. John after her disappearance. Did they? If so, considering that Terrilynn Monette’s car and presumably her body were found at the most probable spot for anyone to have an accident between the bar and her home, what went wrong?
As you can see from the WWL tweet below, a search last month revealed that there were multiple cars submerged in Bayou St. John. Apparently, the magnets used in the immediate aftermath of Monette’s disappearance couldn’t find a needle in a stack of needles. They didn’t just miss her Honda. They missed all these other vehicles as well.
Even if the authorities had found her the very day she was reported missing, it wouldn’t have been soon enough to save Monette’s life. I understand that. But it would have saved the family the agonizing three month search for the tragic missing teacher.
Crews not giving up hope in search for Terrilynn Monette wwltv.com/news/Searchers…
— WWL-TV(@WWLTV) May 28, 2013
[Terrilynn Monette missing person photos courtesy the volunteer search effort and multiple police agencies]