Police do not suspect foul play in missing LSU student case

Missing LSU student
Updated: Apr. 10, 2021 at 9:14 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Police said late Saturday they do not suspect foul play or criminal activity in the disappearance of LSU student Kori Gauthier.

Gauthier was reported missing after her car was found on the Mississippi River Bridge, she was last seen Tuesday, April 6.

Here’s the full statement from LSU:

Search efforts are continuing in a targeted area of the Mississippi River throughout the weekend for missing LSU student Kori Gauthier. On Saturday, a K9 cadaver dog with Mercy Search & Rescue alerted twice in the same area on the river, which is 85-90 feet deep with conditions that were unsafe to deploy divers. On Sunday, April 11, Mounted Patrol will be searching the levee in both directions from Farr Park, while EBRSO, LDWF, LSUPD and BRPD will continue boat searches, including with the latest available sonar technology. At this time, based on evidence collected during the investigation thus far, law enforcement officials suspect that no criminal activity or foul play took place. Officials continue to keep in close contact with Kori’s parents to keep them updated on any developments. We ask everyone to respect their privacy during this time and to keep them in your thoughts. LSU PD has opened a command center, and anyone with information is asked to call 225-578-0807

EBRSO searches for Gauthier
EBRSO searches for Gauthier(Jacob Cheatwood/WAFB-TV | WAFB)

Police say Kori Gauthier’s vehicle was found on the eastbound side of I-10 on the Mississippi River Bridge shortly after midnight when a driver crashed into it Tuesday night. According to BRPD, it appears her car had been abandoned.

“When they swerved over and cut lanes, all I saw was a parked car so I locked up my brakes because it was either the white car or the 18-wheeler,” said Devin Jones who was driving the car that smashed into Gauthier’s abandoned car.

Police had the vehicle removed from the roadway to prevent any other crashes. The registered owner of the unoccupied vehicle was not contacted, but this investigation remains ongoing.

Kori’s father, Levar Gauthier joined the search efforts Friday. The shock his daughter is missing was still setting in.

“I haven’t eaten since Wednesday at work for lunch,” Gauthier said. “I’ve maybe gotten four hours of sleep in the last couple of days and her mom hadn’t gotten that much, I’m sure. I get a cat nap here and there but I mean we won’t stop until we know something about my daughter.”

LSU issued a statement about Gauthier’s disappearance on the evening of Thursday, April 8:

Dear LSU Community,

LSU Police has been investigating the disappearance of one of our students, freshman Kori Gauthier, for almost 24 hours, and has been in close contact with her family throughout the day. Kori’s vehicle was found unoccupied at the scene of an accident early this morning on the I-10 eastbound side of the Mississippi River Bridge in Baton Rouge. Kori, pictured above (or view her image here), is 18 years old and is 5′5″ and weighs between 115 to 120 pounds with dark brown hair and brown eyes. Anyone with information on Kori Gauthier is asked to contact LSU Police at (225) 578-3231.

EBRSO searches for Gauthier near the Mississippi River
EBRSO searches for Gauthier near the Mississippi River(Jacob Cheatwood/WAFB-TV | WAFB)

The Cajun Navy is also assisting with the search. The volunteer group brought a helicopter to help coordinate search efforts on the ground. Saturday the group plans to bring ATVs, boats, and the helicopter out to continue the search.

We called the search off for the day and will continue searching predominantly from the air first thing tomorrow...

Posted by United Cajun Navy on Thursday, April 8, 2021

“I really appreciate the effort that LSU students have put in, Southern University students, friends from Opelousas, LaPlace, Texas, you know, the overwhelming support for my daughter,” Gauthier said. “A lot of people don’t know her but to see the compassion people have, I really appreciate it.”

The family is providing a reward for anyone who brings their daughter home. Anyone with information related to her whereabouts should call LSU Police at (225) 578-3231 or Baton Rouge Police at (225) 389-2000.

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