LONG BEACH (CBSLA.com) — A vigil was held Wednesday night for a local teacher who disappeared while on assignment in New Orleans.

Terrilynn Monette, 26, has been missing since March 2, when she and some friends went to a bar in New Orleans to celebrate her nomination for Teacher of the Year. Her friends reported that Monette told them she was going to sleep in her car, rather than drive home.

Monette, a Cal State San Bernardino graduate, had been taking part in “Teach NOLA”, a program that allows educators to teach in impoverished areas.

She reportedly took the teaching assignment in New Orleans because she believed that was where she was most needed.

Investigators report that Monette was last seen on red light cameras as she was driving into a city park. The signal on her cell phone dropped a few hours after she was last seen.

Authorities say the search has turned toward the Sea Brook Bridge at Bayou St. John, where cars appear to be submerged.

The vigil was held at Antioch Church in Monette’s home community of Long Beach.

“Every morning that I wake up, I don’t see my daughter,” Terrilynn’s father Terry Monette said. “It hurts me greatly. Nobody can imagine how this feels to me.”

Her mother and sister have plans to return to New Orleans in May to aid in the search.

“It’s very, very strange, and you know every day I’m thinking and wondering, ‘why or who has her’ and hasn’t let her go,” Terrilynn’s mother Toni Enclade said.

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