(NEW ORLEANS) — The body of missing teacher Terrilyn Monette was found today in her car, which was discovered submerged in a Louisiana bayou, New Orleans officials said Saturday.
Monette’s body was found in the driver’s seat of the vehicle, according to ABC News affiliate WGNO-TV in New Orleans.
Monette, 26, has been missing since March, when she was last seen leaving a popular bar early in the morning hours. No suspects have been named in connection with her disappearance.
Her family, based in Long Beach, Calif., have been traveling to New Orleans for months in an attempt to bring more attention to her disappearance. On Friday they held a prayer vigil and asked that the FBI be brought in to handle the case.
Previously Monette’s mother, Toni Enclade, had asked authorities to widen the search to a national level to find her daughter.
On Saturday, divers revisited a bayou that had already been searched, after sonar picked up an object in the water
State Rep. Austin Badon, who helped to organize many of the underwater searches in the area, was also there.
“It was not the outcome we had looked for, but we did find her. It allowed the family to have some sense of relief and closure,” Badon told WGNO-TV.
After hearing that the car was being pulled out, Monette’s family gathered to watch as the teacher’s car was pulled to dry land.
“I don’t understand why it took them so long to find her car,” Enclade told The Times-Picayune. “This is supposedly one of the first places they would have checked. I’m just overwhelmed. It doesn’t make sense.”
At the time of her disappearance, Monette had recently become a second-grade teacher at the Woodland West Elementary school in Jefferson Parish.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Chris Isidore, CNN
Forrest Sanders, CNN
Amberlee Lovell, FamilyShare
Billy Hallowell, Deseret News