Body of Missing LSU Student Is Found

Freshman Kori Gauthier found in Mississippi River; no foul play suspected
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 15, 2021 11:15 AM CDT
Body of LSU Freshman Found in Mississippi River
Kori Gauthier.   (LSU Police)

The body of a missing Louisiana State University student has been found in the Mississippi River, ending a dayslong search involving hundreds of people. "We have concluded that there was no criminal activity or foul play involved" in the death of Kori Gauthier, an 18-year-old freshman, LSU Police Chief Bart Thompson says, per CNN, basing this assessment on "cellphone 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." A driver had struck Gauthier's vehicle, which was running but unoccupied, on a bridge spanning the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge in the early hours of April 7, per CNN and the Lafayette Daily Advertiser. Gauthier's phone and wallet were still inside. Her family didn't realize she was missing until later that day, per WAFB.

More than 300 volunteers took part in a search for Gauthier on Friday, per NBC News. A K9 cadaver dog alerted officials to a particular area of the Mississippi River, said to be 85 to 90 feet deep, on Saturday, but conditions "were unsafe to deploy divers," according to LSU. Gauthier's body was subsequently found by a boater on Tuesday, per the Daily Advertiser. Identification came Wednesday, per KLFY. "Thanks for everything that was done, thanks for all the prayers," Gauthier's uncle, Spencer Gauthier, said in a video posted to Facebook on Wednesday. "Not the end result that we were hoping for, but at least we have her body and can start the healing process." He added a message to anyone listening: "If you're going through anything in life, get comfortable having uncomfortable conversations. Life is worth living. ... Never give up." (More Louisiana stories.)

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