Missing New Orleans Teacher’s Car Found, Body Inside

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A diver got into the water and found the car, which was covered with a film when it was pulled out. Badon described the body as “heavily decomposed.”

John Gagliano, the Orleans Parish coroner’s chief investigator, said he could not immediately tell if the body was a man or a woman. Gagliano told The Advocate an autopsy will be performed Monday to determine the identity of the body and cause of death.

Monette was a second-grade teacher at Woodland West Elementary School in Harvey, which is located across the Mississippi River from New Orleans. She had come to Louisiana through a program that recruits teachers to area schools and had been nominated for a teacher of the year honor.

After going to a bar, her friends left her at her car. They told police she planned to sleep before driving home. She left a parking lot about 5:15 a.m. and a traffic camera captured her making a turn in New Orleans’ City Park.

Monette’s disappearance sparked a broad search handled in part by the Texas group Equusearch. A number of cars were pulled earlier from Bayou St. John as part of the search, some of which had been reported stolen.

“Unfortunately it wasn’t what we were looking for in terms of finding here alive and well, but it does bring the family some closure,” Badon said.

(Photo: AP)

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