Kori Gauthier death: Body in Mississippi River id as missing LSU student. No foul play suspected as questions are asked did she commit suicide, or accidentally end up in river? Did break up with boyfriend lead to despair and desperate actions?
A body recovered by authorities from the Mississippi River was on Wednesday identified as that of missing Louisiana State University (LSU) student, Kori Gauthier. Authorities stressed no foul play or criminal play was suspected raising questions as to how the much beloved teen came to die.
Gauthier, 18, was last seen on April 5. Her unoccupied vehicle was discovered at the scene of an accident on the eastbound side of the Mississippi River Bridge in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Her family reported her disappearance after she didn’t show up to work.
Her disappearance compelled the LSU Police Department, Baton Rouge Police Department and other law enforcement agencies and volunteers to begin an exhaustive search.
‘Based on cell phone tracking, video footage and a timeline of the events related to this case… we have concluded that there was no criminal activity or foul play involved,’ LSU Chief of Police Bart Thompson said in a statement on Wednesday.
However, investigators still haven’t determined what caused her death.
‘This is a difficult conclusion for all of us,’ Thompson continued, ‘but we hope this will bring closure for the Gauthier family.’
LSU’s interim President Tom Galligan offered condolences to the student’s friends and family on behalf of the entire university.
In a social media post following the identification of his daughter’s body, the missing woman’s father, Levar Gauthier, wrote, ‘God granted me the one wish I had and that was to receive her in any way to be put to rest properly.’
He also thanked everyone who helped search for his missing daughter. Lastly, he asked for the public to grant him and his family privacy as they grieve.
Did a bad break up with boyfriend lead to suicide?
The Gauthier family had offered a $10,000 reward to anyone who could provide information that would lead to her safe return.
The search for the missing student involved over 300 volunteers, including ones on all-terrain vehicles, horseback, boats, helicopters, on foot as well as operating flying drones.
The search around the 85-90-foot deep Mississippi River involved a cadaver-locating dog, boat searches and the latest available sonar technology, according to tweets from LSU. Authorities didn’t use divers in the river due to safety concerns.
Police found the young woman’s phone and wallet left inside of her abandoned vehicle. She had reportedly gotten into an argument with her boyfriend, the last person to see her, before disappearing, KATC reported.
It remained unclear if Gauthier took her own life following the fight as her mental state of mind may have been frayed and the teen overwhelmed with despair and grief.