Body of missing LSU student Kori Gauthier found, police say no foul play suspected
The 18-year-old had been missing since last week, and her empty car was found on a bridge over the Mississippi River on April 7.
A body recovered Tuesday from the Mississippi River is that of missing Louisiana State University student Kori Gauthier, officials said Wednesday.
LSU Chief of Police Bart Thompson said investigators concluded there was no criminal activity or foul play involved. He cited video footage, cellphone tracking and “other evidence we shared with Kori’s parents that we are not at liberty to disclose publicly out of respect for their privacy.”
Gauthier was a freshman at the university in Baton Rouge.
Thompson’s department, other law enforcement agencies and volunteers searched exhaustively for the 18-year-old, he said.
“This is a difficult conclusion for all of us, but we hope this will bring closure for the Gauthier family,” Thompson said. Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul extended his prayers to the young woman’s family and friends.
Gauthier’s vehicle was found on the Horace Wilkinson Bridge by Baton Rouge police early April 7, police have said. It was found unoccupied shortly after midnight after there was an accident involving what was described as a stalled vehicle on the bridge. The bridge spans the Mississippi.
Searchers on horseback and in boats looked for her since she was reported missing, officials said. On Friday, more than 300 volunteers were searching for her, and that night LSU students held a prayer vigil.
The university said the Gauthier family wished to express its sincerest thanks to law enforcement officials and volunteers and asked for privacy at this time.
Her body was found in St. John the Baptist Parish, the university said.A cause of death was not released in the LSU statement.
Interim LSU President Tom Galligan said the university community was devastated, and he and Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome offered their condolences to Gauthier’s family and friends.