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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Terrilynn Monette's Unexplained Death

     Terrilynn Monette grew up in Long Beach, California. After attending Wilson High School, she graduated from Cal State San Bernardino with a degree in elementary education. In 2011, the 24-year-old, pursuant to a program called "teachNOLA", moved to New Orleans to educate disadvantaged students. Monette ended up teaching second graders at Woodland West Elementary, a low-performing school in a poor section of the city.

     On Friday night, March 1, 2013, Monette and a few friends were drinking at Parlay's Bar in the Lakeview section of New Orleans. Later that night, at three-thirty in the morning, the bartender decided Monette had enough to drink, and cut her off. Telling her friends that she planned to sleep a few hours in her car before driving home, Monette walked out of the bar shortly after the barkeep refused to serve her any more alcohol.

     The school teacher, wearing a pink and yellow sweater and blue jeans, was last seen at five that morning sleeping in her black 2012 Honda Accord in the Harrison Avenue bar's rear parking lot. Some time after that, she and her car were no longer behind the bar. Terrilynn Monette simply disappeared.

     Deputies with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office searched a bayou located between Parlay's Bar and Monette's apartment. They found no signs of her or the vehicle. The Louisiana license number to the missing Honda was WUN 494. The missing woman was black, five-foot-eight, and weighs 180 pounds. She had shoulder-length hair and a tattoo on her left leg. The authorities had no suspects in her disappearance.

     The body inside a car found by a diver in Bayou St. John on Saturday June 8, 2013 was identified as the remains of the missing school teacher.

     Following the autopsy, the Orleans Parish Coroner's Office ruled Monette's cause of death as drowning. The forensic pathologist found no evidence of foul play. Moreover, the victim had not been under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Members of Terrilynn Monette's family believed she had fallen asleep at the wheel.


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