Body in Mississippi River ID’d as missing student

Published 9:54 pm Wednesday, April 14, 2021

The body pulled from the Mississippi River on Tuesday has been identified as missing LSU freshman Kori Gauthier.

“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,” LSU Chief of Police Bart Thompson said Wednesday in a statement. “This is a difficult conclusion for all of us, but we hope this will bring closure for the Gauthier family.”

“Our LSU community is devastated to learn of the loss of Kori Gauthier,” said interim LSU President Tom Galligan. “Our thoughts are with her parents, her family, and all who knew her during this very difficult time. We offer our deepest condolences to her family and friends.”

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Gauthier, 18, of Opelousas, had been missing since last Wednesday. Her unoccupied car was found on the Interstate 10 Mississippi River bridge between Baton Rouge and Port Allen after a driver crashed into the vehicle. There was no sign of her, police said.

“Based on cell phone tracking, video footage and a timeline of the events related to this case – combined with other evidence we shared with Kori’s parents that we are not at liberty to disclose publicly out of respect for their privacy – we have concluded that there was no criminal activity or foul play involved,” Thompson said.

A cause of death has not yet been released.