June 7, 2013 UPDATE — Sadly, 26-year-old Terri Monnette has been found deceased 98 days after she was last seen leaving Parlay’s Bar, a local bar in New Orleans, Louisiana.
For months Slidell police, family, friends and volunteers have been scouring City Park and the surrounding areas looking for the young woman and this past Saturday she was located by Mark Michaud, the leader of the Slidell Police Department’s dive team.
Michaud, 49, had gone to Bayou St. John on his 17-foot boat during his free time. Scanning the waters with a portable sonar device, he found a submerged car close to a bridge at the corner of Harrison Avenue and Wisner Boulevard. He then grabbed his gear, dove in and saw a black Honda Accord – the same make and model as Monnette’s car. He then studied the license plate. It read, “WUN 494.”
It was Monnette’s car, and instead was a badly decomposed body in the driver’s seat — It was Terri Lynn Monnette. Cause of death: Drowning.
Rewind to 98 days: It was a Saturday night, March 2, 2013 and the West Bank elementary school teacher had been hanging out at Parlay’s bar in Eastern New Orleans. She had been drinking and having a good time with friends and co-workers and was what some described as intoxicated. At one point she was seen resting in her vehicle. Witnesses and surveillance cameras then saw her speaking to a man in the parking lot around 4AM. The cameras show the both of them going their separate ways. She disappeared shortly after taking a right out of Parlay’s parking lot.
It seemed that the vehicle was pointed the way Monnette would probably have been going on March 2 after she drove away from Parlay’s bar in the 800 block of Harrison Avenue about 5 a.m. — the last time anyone saw her.
03/11/13 UPDATE — Texas EquuSearch has been contacted and are now promoting Terrilynn’s missing case on their Web page. You can also download her missing poster and/or leave a donation. Your donation to Texas EquuSearch will be used for search missions, equipment, fuel, food, lodging for the Search Coordinators and expenses associated with the operation of their Mobile Command Center. Additionally, donations will be used for their day-to-day operating expenses.
Family, friends and concerned people in the community attended a prayer vigil last night at Wilson High School.
If you have any information you’re urged to please contact: Texas EquuSearch at (281) 309-9500, or the New Orleans Police Department (below).
Terrilynn Monnette, a 26-year-old West Bank school teacher, was last seen in the early hours of Saturday morning, March 2, 2013.
She had gone to Parlay’s bar in the 800 block of Harrison Avenue in the Lakeview section of Crescent City with friends on Friday night going into early Saturday morning. According to witnesses including some of her employees, she had been drinking and was seen having a good time with several friends. Some reports claim that she was intoxicated, which could have rendered her vulnerable.
An eyewitness told police that he saw the missing teacher with an unidentified man in the bar’s parking lot, according to information on the missing person’s flyer that Monnette’s family has been distributing.
The manager of Parlay’s bar handed over video surveillance to police which show Monnette with an unidentified male walking to her car at approximately 3:45AM in the Parlay’s parking lot. They were in the car for a little while and then the man is seen getting out and going into his own vehicle. Both cars are seen driving off in opposite directions. This was the last spotting of Monnette and she hasn’t been seen or heard from since.
The bar’s general manager confirmed the eyewitnesses account, telling WGNO that the two talked in the parking lot “for a little while,” and that the bar’s video surveillance showed they left in separate cars. “He went one way, she went the other,”
Monnette’s mother also told police that between 3:30AM – 4AM, she had went to her vehicle to sleep because she had consumed alcohol beverages and didn’t want to drive under the influence.
Family and friends became immediately concerned and say it is uncharacteristic of Monnette to be away this long without contacting anybody. They have been searching and distributing missing person flyers with her photo and description on it. The posters have also been spreading threw out social media websites, especially Facebook.
Loved ones and volunteers gathered at Parlay’s bar at 7:30AM Thursday (03/07/13) to search. They walked through City Park banging sticks in bushes and searching through shrubs, hoping to find some sign of Monnette. City Park is a large park consisting of many yards, and searching will likely take more than a day.
Toni Enclade, the mother of Terrilynn Monnette, is adamant that her daughter will return to her safely.
“I really believe that she’s OK,” Enclade said with a firm nod of her head, as others searched the high grass near the City Park driving range behind her. “I’m very hopeful.”
Although hopeful, tension is rising and many are anxious.
Police are not only searching for Monnette, but are also trying to locate her 2012 three-door black Honda Accord with Louisiana license plate # WUN494.
Photos of searches that were conducted this past week for the missing teacher who hasn’t been seen in over one week
Terri Lynn Monnette is described as a black female with a light complexion, long-brown hair and brown eyes, 5’8″ tall, weighing approximately 180 pounds. She was last seen wearing blue jeans and a long-sleeved green and gray striped shirt (some reports state that she was wearing a pink and yellow striped sweater.)
An Internet user posted this picture warning which has been passed along. However, to avoid rumors surfacing, a commenter posted that their cousin also works for NOPD and says this is simply not true.
A Facebook page called Terrilynn Monnette was created, as well as the Facebook group Prayers to Find Terrilynn Monnette. It unknown at the moment who exactly runs the pages however, comments from those closest to Terrilynn are regularly posted.
Terrilynn Monnette is missed by many. Some of the comments posted on the Facebook support pages include;
My son keeps asking me has anyone found his teacher yet. Its really making my heartache to have to tell him no. I just keep telling him to say an extra special prayer at night with his bedtime prayers. Ms. Monnette IS a wonderful person that these children spend most of their day with. I cant speak for anyone else, but I’m tired of seeing the hurt /sadness in his eyes. PRAYERS GOING UP RIGHT NOW….. LORD FIND HER IN JESUS NAME.. AMEN
Fam, my heart is so full to see so many people working TOGETHER for such a noble cause, to FIND Terrilynn ♥ in all that you do please KEEP PRAYING!! Now it’s officially been over a week since our love one has been missing, but look how much we have accomplished via Social Media and by word of mouth… We’ve made such an impact and I sincerely want to THANK every one of you, keep praying, keep saying her NAME, keep telling her Story, keep showing her Picture… So glad to hear that the story made the news in CALI! God is So Good!! — with Alquincia Pope-Boston and 2 others.
Dozens of photos have also been posted including Terrilynn Monnette teaching her class.
If you have any information regarding this case you’re urged to please contact:
New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) (504) 821-2222.
Volunteers search for missing N.O. teacher – The Advocate
Search party launched in Lakeview for missing teacher – Nola