Missing almost two weeks now, the search for Terrilynn Monette, a New Orleans second-grade teacher nominated for Teacher of the Year, continues, expanding to Bayous and ponds.
Terrilynn Monette, 26, went out to celebrate her nomination for Teacher of the Year, which recognized her dedication and success teaching children from impoverished families through the teachNOLA program. The native Californian had uprooted her life and moved to New Orleans because, as she said in a 2011 video CNN reports, “I always wanted to be a teacher, and what better place to teach than New Orleans, where passionate teachers are needed most?” In fact her students improved dramatically.
Monette went out for a night of celebration and drinking with friends on March 2, 2013. When she became intoxicated enough that the bartender at Parlay’s Bar, on the the 800 block of Harrison Avenue, would no longer serve her, Monette announced to friends that she was going to sleep it off in her car, a 2012 black Honda Accord, rather than risk driving home. The last time anyone saw Monette she was talking with a man outside her car around 3:30 a.m. Her cell phone had stopped emitting a signal several hours before that and by dawn she and her car were gone. She did not return home and has not been seen since. She has been classified as an endangered missing person.
Most recently the search has expanded to include bodies of water. Tim Miller’s search group Texas Equusearch, has joined the search to help find Monette. They specialize in search and rescue of missing persons, and have been using their sonar equipment to search area ponds and bayous. Some may remember Texas Equusearch from searches for missing Georgia teacher Tara Grinstead, missing student in Aruba Natalee Holloway and missing 5 year old Haleigh Cummings.
Monette is described as 5-feet 8-inches tall, weighing about 180 pounds with long brown hair. She was last seen wearing a pink and yellow sweater and jeans. Her left leg is tattooed.
Anyone with any information is strongly urged to call the New Orleans Police Department at 504-658-4000.