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Missing teacher’s body found in car pulled from a bayou

Posted at 12:38 PM, Jun 09, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-09 17:34:10-04

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LOUISIANA (CNN)- Cries of anguish from a family who has held out hope for 14 weeks.

Crews pulled Terrilynn Monette’s car out of bayou St. John this afternoon.

A body was found in the driver’s seat.

“We never would have imagined this would have happened. How do we move on, you really don’t know how to move on?”

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The Jefferson Parish teacher vanished in early March after leaving Parlay’s Bar in Lakeview.

Her story captured the heart of the community.

Dozens of onlookers gathered at the bayou to show support.

“Just show our respects to the family.”

“Officials say crews have searched this area of the bayou at least three times before, raising questions for family friends about why Monette’s car wasn’t found sooner.

“Well how long has the car been there if they done searched this area? This area done been searched before.  It’s really mind boggling to me.”

Mark Michaud is the volunteer diver who used sonar to find Monette’s car today.

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The Slidell police officer says he wanted to give Monette’s mother a sense of closure.

“She has her baby, she knows where she is. Now she can start her process of getting on with her life, knowing where her baby is. She’s never going to not know where she is.”

Already, a family friend threw rose petals into the bayou in remembrance.

Those who knew Monette say the discovery is bittersweet.

“It’s rough, rough for everybody, everybody that been involved it’s been rough. We got closure for Toni and her daughter’s, dad, myself and a whole lot of others. We’re happy.  Happy and sad, happy and sad.”

“It’s a relief, it’s a relief. We promised that we would never give up on her and we stood by that promise.”

An autopsy will be performed Monday morning on the body, believed to be Terrilynn Monette.