Coroner: Missing UNO student died of drowning


Posted on March 6, 2014 at 1:30 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 6 at 2:44 PM
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NEW ORLEANS, La. -- The Orleans Parish Coroner's Office says 19-year-old Hayley Howard died of drowning and that no foul play is suspected.

Friends and family are still mourning the loss of the University of New Orleans student.

Wednesday, Howard’s body was discovered in a car that was pulled out of a waterway near I-10 and Irish Bayou.

The 19-year-old was driving to Slidell from UNO early Saturday morning, when officials believe she veered off of I-10 and into the waters of the Irish Bayou.

Around 100 people helped search for Howard Wednesday until her submerged car was found.

Police say Howard must have missed the guard rail, the tree line and the exit sign before hitting the water.

Howard was last seen early Saturday morning, when police say a group of Good Samaritans helped the Northshore teen fix a flat tire near UNO before she started driving to Slidell.

A cell phone tower ping led police to search Irish Bayou, where St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's deputies found Howard's Silver Toyota Corolla using sonar, and a New Orleans Police Department dive team helped recover the vehicle.

Family and friends cried and embraced when they learned Howard would not be found alive.

Toxicology tests will take two to three weeks to be completed.