Kori Gauthier was a missing LSU student whose body has tragically been found in the Mississippi River, the university and family confirmed on April 14, 2021.
Before Gauthier’s body was found, police said they did not believe that criminal activity or foul play took place. They still believe that. They have not released a cause of death or said how Gauthier died. However, the circumstances of the student’s death remain unclear.
“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 LSU Chief of Police Bart Thompson. “This is a difficult conclusion for all of us, but we hope this will bring closure for the Gauthier family.”
According to Thompson, “cell phone tracking, video footage and other evidence” lead police to still think there was no foul play, WWLTV reported.
Here’s what you need to know:
Gauthier’s Uncle Confirmed That Her Body Was Found, Saying That a ‘Nation of People’ Offered Prayers & Support
Spencer Gauthier, Kori’s uncle, said in a video statement shared on Facebook that he wanted to thank everyone who had shown love for his family.
“Unfortunately, it has been confirmed that it was my niece’s body found in the river near Reserve, Louisiana. Not the end result we were hoping for. At least we have her body and can start the healing process,” he said in the heartbreaking video.
“For my niece, it’s a tough video to make…but thanks for everything that was done. Thanks for all the prayers,” he said. “…If you’re going through anything in life, get comfortable having uncomfortable conversations. Life is worth living. In all honesty, life is worth living. Never give up.” He said that a “nation of people” came together to help his niece.
“We’re all in this together,” he added.
Kori’s dad, Levar Gauthier, also confirmed her death on Facebook. He wrote, “I come to you all with a very heavy heart!! It was confirmed that the body that was recovered in Reserve right down the street from my job was indeed my Kori Mo!!! God granted me the one wish I had and that was to receive her in any way to be put to rest properly. She always said that I didn’t do anything at work so I guess she was trying to see for herself!! I would like to thank everyone who assisted in any way. Its too many to name but THANK YOU!! Give me time to process it all but do know if I haven’t already responded to your text or calls I will in the near future. God Bless you and Rest in Paradise Kori Monet Gauthier!!!”
Police Found Gauthier’s Vehicle Unoccupied at the Scene of an Accident on the Mississippi River Bridge
According to the LSU Police Department, LSU PD was “investigating the disappearance of one of our students, freshman Kori Gauthier, and has been in close contact with her family. Kori’s vehicle was found unoccupied at the scene of an accident on the I-10 eastbound side of the Mississippi River Bridge in Baton Rouge.”
The press release, which was issued before Gauthier’s body was found, said, “Kori 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. Our thoughts are with Kori and her family and friends as we hope for her safe return.”
Police Used Cadaver Dogs & Sonar Technology to Search the River
The search efforts were extensive.
“Search efforts are continuing in a targeted area of the Mississippi River throughout the weekend for missing LSU student Kori Gauthier,” LSU police wrote on Facebook before Gauthier’s body was found.
“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.”
Police continued: “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.”
On Facebook, Gauthier wrote that she was from Opelousas, Louisiana. Her only visible photos were selfies or showed her with family.