NEW ORLEANS -- The family of Terrilynn Monette says it now has answers for the reason it is taking so long to get lab results back from the coroner's office. The coroner says has challenges causing the delays.
After an hour meeting with the Orleans Parish Coroner and New Orleans Police Department officers, Terrilynn Monette's family says answers will be coming in about four weeks. They want to know details about what let up to the young school teacher drowning in her car in Bayou St. John after a night out with friends.
"We need answers. It's been almost eight weeks since she was found and I just feel like that would open up the line of communications for us. It will help us rest better. It's just so hard on us not knowing anything at all," said Terry Monette, Terrilynn's Father.
Coroner Dr. Frank Minyard says his office and police are still in an extensive investigation. Those still take more time because of Hurricane Katrina.
"No we don't have enough clerks. We don't have enough investigators. We don't have a lab. You want to talk about what we don't have? They are planning us a new office and hopefully we'll have ground breaking soon and it should be available in a year and a half," said Dr. Frank Minyard, Coroner of Orleans Parish.
Liver tissue is being analyzed in a lab in St. Louis. The family cremated Terrilynn's body and last month had a funeral in California. Six hundred people showed up.
"Terrilynn was more like a best friend than my sister and we were really, really close. And I find myself sometimes calling her. She's still one of my favorites in my phone," said her sister, Kandice Enclade, through tears.
More than a dozen family members are in town and look forward to thanking the people of New Orleans at Saturday's service.
"It's very important for us as a family to celebrate Terrilynn's life, the life that she had, the life I knew she would have had. But we're going to continue to put her name out there and just let everyone know and show everyone what a wonderful, beautiful person that she was," said her mother Toni Enclade. "I brought her (ashes) with me. She'll be there tomorrow."
Terrilynn's mother plans to come back in town to get the final toxicology report in person.
The public memorial service is Saturday at 3 p.m. at the Franklin Avenue Baptist Church. The family asks that you bring children's books to donate to Woodland West Elementary where Terrilynn taught.