NEW ORLEANS - EquuSearch, a group from Texas specializing in search operations, suspended their search for a Jefferson Parish teacher on Wednesday, which marked the eighteenth day since her disappearance.
The group returned to Texas after two searches of the waterways around City Park yielded no clues of Terrilynn Monette's location. They had been in town for nearly a week.
Tim Miller of EquuSearch said he was frustrated by the lack of success in finding Monette, but added that the group hoped to return from Houston if more clues surfaced that warranted more searching.
New Orleans police continue to look for Monette, said Officer Garry Flot, a spokesman for the New Orleans Police Department.
Family members of Monette, 26, are hoping to expand the search nationally and increase the reward for information as to her whereabouts. Her mother said she does not think her daughter's car is in a City Park lagoon. She believes her daughter was abducted.
"We're glad they didn't find her in the bayou. We're just glad and hoping and praying that she's still alive," said Terry Brown, a family friend.
Due to an anonymous donation Wednesday, Crimestoppers increased the reward for information relating to Terrilynn Monette from $2,500 to $3,500.
"Now they want us to keep efforts up to increase this reward. Somebody out here knows something, so we need them to tell us what they know. And unfortunately at $3,500, that money is not enough to make someone talk," Brown said.
Authorities are basing a portion of their investigation on video from security and red light cameras. It indicated that she was alone in her 2012 black Honda Accord, according to the New Orleans Police Department.
Around 5 a.m. on March 2, video showed Monette leaving the Harrison Avenue parking lot behind a Lakeview bar. She was seen headed towards Marconi and then north towards Lake Pontchartrain.
Police do not believe she made it home to her apartment.
On Tuesday, authorities focused their search on City Park lagoons near the intersection of Filmore and Marconi. EquuSearch focused on Bayou St. John. They found submerged cars but none were Monette's.
Anyone with information can call Crimestoppers at 822-1111. Callers can remain anonymous.