Authorities confirmed Wednesday that a body found this week in the Mississippi River near Reserve is that of missing LSU student Kori Gauthier.
“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,” said LSU 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.”
Gauthier's abandoned car was discovered April 7 after it was hit by another vehicle heading east on I-10 over the Mississippi River.
“Based on cell phone tracking, video footage and a timeline of the events related to this case – combined with other evidence we shared with Kori’s parents that we are not at liberty to disclose publicly out of respect for their privacy – we have concluded that there was no criminal activity or foul play involved," Thompson added.
“On behalf of the men and women of the Baton Rouge Police Department, I want to extend our prayers to Kori’s family and friends,” said Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul. “Over the last few days, we’ve held her close in our hearts, as we’ve worked with other agencies, volunteers, and loved ones to find Kori. We will continue praying for Kori's family and friends during this difficult time.”
Other agencies involved in the search for Gauthier included sheriff's offices from East Baton Rouge, Iberville, Livingston, St. John the Baptist and St. Charles parishes, Louisiana State Police, the United Cajun Navy, Cajun Navy 2016/Pinnacle SAR, New Orleans Harbor Police and the U.S. Coast Guard.
“Our LSU community is devastated to learn of the loss of Kori Gauthier,” said Interim LSU President Tom Galligan. “Our thoughts are with her parents, her family, and all who knew her during this very difficult time. We offer our deepest condolences to her family and friends.”
“Our entire community is heartbroken by the loss of this amazing young woman,” said Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome. “I send my most heartfelt condolences to Kori’s family and loved ones. Please keep them in your prayers during this time.”