It started as a mystery, a successful teacher disappeared after a night at a local bar.
Terrilynn Monette vanished.
During the three months that she was missing, many theories were investigated as her family pleaded with police and the media to continue the search. It was even suggested at one point that the Russian Mafia was involved in the teacher's disappearance.
In the end, it appeared that Monette drove off the road and into Bayou St. John as she drove home from a Lakeview bar. A volunteer diver found her car.
Monette taught at Woodland West Elementary School in Harvey. She was 26.
She went missing in early March.
In June, the Orleans Parish Coroner positively identified remains found in a submerged vehicle as those of missing teacher Terrilynn Monette.
Using dental records, officials say they were able to make the positive identification. The coroner listed the cause of death as drowning.
During the search, the NOPD offered the following time line of the night Monette went missing:
- Early evening: Monette went out with a friend and only brought her driver's license and phone. She left her purse, her credit cards, and her money at home.
- Went with a friend to club on Frenchman Street and then to a restaurant on Veterans Boulevard. At about midnight, she & the friend went to meet three other friends at Parlay's Bar on Harrison Avenue. Her phone stopped working at about 1:00 a.m., and police believe the battery may have run out.
- While at Parlays, Kalka says "she did not consume an excessive amount of alcohol while there," according to interviews with other patrons and bartenders.
- Around 3:30 a.m., she went to her car with one of her male friends for about 45 minutes.
- Around 4:15 a.m., the friend left. The friend said at the time she was "passed out" in the driver's seat, and thought it was best for her to "sleep it off." The friend said "she appeared to be intoxicated," according to Lt. Kalka.
- At 5:13 a.m., surveillance video shows her backing her Honda out of the Gulf Coast Bank parking lot. The video shows she was alone in the car. She turned onto Harrison, travels over the little bridge into City Park, and turns left on Marconi. From there, police don't know where she went. At a follow-up news conference today, Kalka said it did not appear she was followed.
In the months that followed, there were candle light vigils, protests outside of NOPD and numerous media appearances by family members demanding answers.
The reward for information grew to nearly $20,000.