On Tuesday, the body of Louisiana State University student Kori Gauthier was recovered from the Mississippi River days after she was reported missing.
NBC News reports that the news was confirmed by LSU chief of police Bart Thompson on Wednesday. Investigators have deduced no criminal activity or foul play is suspected, with video footage and cellphone tracking among the evidence that would suggest as much. He added there’s also “other evidence we shared with Kori’s parents that we are not liberty to disclose publicly out of respect for their privacy.”
The 18-year-old LSU freshman was last seen on April 6, her family said. Her car was discovered abandoned on a Mississippi River bridge in Baton Rouge the following day. Police indicated there was an accident on the bridge involving what appeared to be a stalled vehicle.
"Since Kori was first reported missing, the LSU Police Department, Baton Rouge Police Department and other law enforcement agencies and volunteers have taken exhaustive measures to locate her and, in the process, to determine what led to her disappearance," continued chief of police Bart Thompson. "This is a difficult conclusion for all of us, but we hope this will bring closure for the Gauthier family."
Authorities began searching for Gauthier on horseback and in boats after she was reported missing, and on Friday over 300 volunteers joined the search. That same night, LSU students held a vigil for her. After the news broke, her uncle Spencer shared a touching video message and thanked everyone for their support and efforts to help find his niece.
"Our entire community is heartbroken by the loss of this amazing young woman," said Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome in a statement. "I send my most heartfelt condolences to Kori's family and loved ones. Please keep them in your prayers during this time."