LONG BEACH (CBSLA.com) — A car belonging to a Long Beach native has been found submerged in a New Orleans bayou, according to authorities. An unidentified body was also found inside.
Terrilyn Monette’s family, who resides in Long Beach, has been traveling to New Orleans repeatedly since her disappearance in continue their search. As recent as Friday evening, the family held a vigil.
Her family sobbed and embraced one another as a tow truck pulled the 26-year-old woman’s Honda Accord for Bayou St. John on Saturday. A volunteer diver made the discovery.
“I can’t believe that I might never see my baby again,” an emotional Toni Enclade, Monette’s mother, said in a phone interview with CBS2. Enclade also told WWL-TV that the news broke her heart, KNX 1070 reported.
“It was very difficult receiving that phone call. We were actually en route to do more searching and passing out more fliers because we still hadn’t given up,” she said.
Enclade said police believe the body found inside the car is her daughter’s but authorities have not yet made a positive identification.
Monette left Southern California two years ago for a teaching position as part of a program which places educators in impoverished communities.
She was last seen March 2 leaving a popular bar, where she was celebrating her nomination for “Teacher of the Year.”
David Dirks, a family friend, told Kim that since Monette’s disappearance, investigators have searched areas she would have crossed driving home from that bar. The search involved ground and air support. Investigators even search the bayou where her Honda Accord was pulled.
“We never wanted to hear this news. But it’s kind of on the flip side, we didn’t want to keep not knowing,” said Dirks. “There’s still a lot of questions that we would like to know.”
Enclade also said that investigators have not indicated whether they believe foul play was involved.