A body found in the Mississippi River on Tuesday is that of missing Louisiana State University student Kori Gauthier.
LSU Chief of Police Bart Thompson said that investigators “have concluded that there was no criminal activity or foul play involved,” according to WAFB.
A boater spotted the body late Tuesday morning near Milepost 137 in St John the Baptist Parish, as CrimeOnline previously reported.
Gauthier, 18, was reportedly not in her vehicle when it was involved in a crash on the Interstate 10 bridge over the river shortly after midnight on April 7. The vehicle was still running, and her purse and phone were inside.
Family members said authorities didn’t notify them about the crash. They first learned she was missing when Gauthier’s employer called them after she didn’t show up for work. The family said they also learned she missed a doctor’s appointment and missed classes.
Kori’s uncle, Spencer Gauthier, said in a Facebook live video on Wednesday that the family can now start healing.
“Life is worth living. In all honesty, life is worth living,” he said, according to The Advocate. “Never give up. As you guys can see, a nation of people came together for my niece. That same nation of people would come to your side … We’re all in this together.”
“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 Thompson. “This is a difficult conclusion for all of us, but we hope this will bring closure for the Gauthier family.”
The chief said investigators had used cell phone tracking, video footage, and a timeline to determine what happened that night, along “with other evidence we shared with Kori’s parents that we are not at liberty to disclose publicly out of respect for their privacy.”
Officials have not released a cause of death.
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[Featured image: Kori Gauthier/Police Handout]