MANDEVILLE, La. -- Multiple sources say the body found Sunday along Interstate-12 is 31-year-old Nicole Jefferson, who went missing over a week ago.
The St. Tammany Coroner's Office had released a statement Monday afternoon that said investigators know the identity of a female body found Sunday along Interstate-12, but the release said, "additional information is currently being withheld due to the ongoing investigation."
However, sources confirmed to Eyewitness News that the deceased woman is Jefferson, a mother of four who lives in the Greenleaves Subdivision of Mandeville.
Jefferson went missing a week ago, when she didn't show up for a 3:30 a.m. shift Monday. She worked as a TSA Agent at Armstrong International Airport.
"She would never leave either her kids or her job," her mother, Connie Schilling told Eyewitness News Friday. Schilling lives next door to her daughter and is now caring for her children. "We've tried reaching out to people that we haven't seen in awhile, to see if maybe.. because I'm sitting here going - have they heard anything from anyone? But nobody's heard nothing."
St. Tammany deputies found the body behind the tree line along I-12 Sunday evening. The St. Tammany Sheriff's Office wouldn’t say why, but deputies were searching just west La. Highway 21 when they discovered the female body in what the Coroner's Office described as "an advanced state of decomposition."
That decomposition would match the timetable of Jefferson's disappearance.
Schilling reported her daughter missing to investigators Tuesday after Jefferson failed to show up at work early Monday morning. Schilling told Eyewitness News her daughter texted her around 11 p.m. Sunday, which means she disappeared between then and the beginning of her 3:30 a.m. shift at Armstrong Airport on Monday.