Terrilynn Monette's family left with more questions than answers one year later

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wwltv.com

Posted on June 24, 2014 at 10:56 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 25 at 11:16 AM

Monica Hernandez / Eyewitness News
Email: mhernandez@wwltv.com | Twitter: @mhernandezwwl

NEW ORLEANS - It's been just over a year since a missing teacher's car was pulled out of Bayou St. John with her body inside, but the case remains open.

A memorial remains at the site.

Terrilynn Monette’s mother, Toni Enclade, visited the site on a trip to New Orleans from California. She said being in the area is still painful.

“I don't have closure,” said Enclade. “Until I find out what happened to her, that's when I'm going to have closure.”

And that's why Enclade has met with the coroner's office and the New Orleans Police Department fatality investigator on this case.

Police are still keeping Terrilynn's car in evidence. They say the case remains open, in case any new leads come in to help determine how Terrilynn ended up in the water.

But so far, there have been none.

“For me it's not going to ever be over until they can actually tell me how her car ended up in this water,” said Enclade.

The Jefferson Parish teacher was last seen alive leaving Parlay’s Bar in Lakeview last March. Investigators believe she somehow drove into Bayou St. John on her way home.

The coroner's office closed their case after ruling Terrilynn's death an "undetermined" drowning. A spokesman said investigators don’t know if she accidentally or deliberately drove into a waterway.

Authorities say there is no evidence of foul play. But Enclade believes otherwise.

“Deep down in my heart, I do not believe it was an accident. I do not believe it was an accident,” said Enclade.

What's more, Enclade believes her daughter's body should have been found much sooner. A series of emails sent less than two weeks after Terrilynn went missing shows a family member asked police to search the area where her body was ultimately found.

Instead, it was a volunteer diver from Slidell who found her body in the bayou at Harrison and Wisner, more than three months after she disappeared.

“I was robbed of seeing my daughter and identifying her myself, you took that away from me, you took that away from me,” said Enclade, referring to her inability to identify her daughter after she was found because her body had been in the water too long.

Police say they searched every area family members suggested with the equipment they had. And even though the search for Terrilynn is over, her mother's search for answers is far from it.

Police say it's not unusual to keep a case like this open, in case new evidence comes in. Terrilynn's family is asking anyone with more information to call Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111(504) 822-1111.

 

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