The body of missing Louisiana State University student Kori Gauthier has been recovered, according to a joint press release from Baton Rouge Police and LSU Police.
“Since Kori was first reported missing, the LSU Police Department, Baton Rouge Police Department and other law enforcement agencies and volunteers have taken exhaustive measures to locate her and, in the process, to determine what led to her disappearance,” LSU Chief of Police Bart Thompson said. “This is a difficult conclusion for all of us, but we hope this will bring closure for the Gauthier family.”
“Based on cell phone tracking, video footage and a timeline of the events related to this case — combined with other evidence we shared with Kori’s parents that we are not at liberty to disclose publicly out of respect for their privacy — we have concluded that there was no criminal activity or foul play involved,” he added.
Gauthier, an 18-year-old freshman at LSU, had not been seen since April 6. Her car was found unoccupied at the scene of an accident on the I-10 bridge in Baton Rouge, according to LSU. The Louisiana Department of Transportation confirmed there was an accident on April 7 on the I-10 bridge that shut down two lanes of traffic.
Citing the Baton Rouge Police Department, CNN affiliate WAFB reported that Gauthier’s car appeared to be abandoned, left running on the bridge.
“Once officers got to the scene, they found Gauthier’s personal belongings — including her phone — inside and they had her car towed to a junkyard,” WAFB reported.
The search for Gauthier had been narrowed down to a portion of the Mississippi River after a K-9 cadaver dog alerted the same area of the river twice earlier on Saturday, the school said at the time. Her body was discovered in the river Tuesday and later identified.
“The Gauthier family has asked to extend their sincerest thanks to all law enforcement officials and volunteers who helped in the investigation and the search. And also they thank everyone for their support during this time, and ask to please respect their privacy in the days and weeks going forward,” according to the latest police statement.
“Our LSU community is devastated to learn of the loss of Kori Gauthier,” Interim LSU President Tom Galligan said in the statement. “Our thoughts are with her parents, her family, and all who knew her during this very difficult time. We offer our deepest condolences to her family and friends.”