Wednesday, April 24, 2024
HomeNEWSBATON ROUGEThe Disappearance of Kori Gauthier

The Disappearance of Kori Gauthier

An education major at LSU with a bright future ahead was last seen on April 6th. Those who knew Kori Gauthier, who was known for being a responsible individual, thought it strange that she had not shown up to class, work or a doctor’s appointment that she had scheduled. 

Hours earlier at around 1 am, someone had crashed into Kori’s vehicle which was empty and running on the Mississippi River Bridge with her phone and wallet in it. 

 

Kori’s parents were not made aware of the car crash until after those close to her noticed she wasn’t at any of her scheduled activities for the day. Relatives tracked Kori’s phone to a salvage yard where her car had been impounded. The car was totaled and had been brought to the junkyard without any family members being notified. While it is very common for cars to be left on the side of the road for many reasons, a running car with a phone and a wallet is a different situation.

 

There was an outpouring of support from the local community to help locate Kori and multiple vigils and prayer gatherings in hopes of her safe return. LSU police collaborated with local departments and community members (such as the Cajun Navy) to ramp up the search for Kori. Boats and search dogs were included in the effort to bring Kori home, as well as people walking the levee and mounted patrols. Cadaver dogs alerted the same area of the river twice in one day, which narrowed down the search. However, that part of the river is roughly 90 feet deep and was unsafe for divers at the time.

 

Days after Kori went missing, a body was found in the Mississippi River Reserve. A tugboat crew member in St. John the Baptist Parish saw the body floating in the river and reported it. The body was recovered in Reserve, 50 miles south of Baton Rouge, right down the road from her father’s place of employment. There was no definitive answer as to the identity of the body. A day later it was revealed that it was the body of Kori Gauthier, a conclusion that no one was hoping for. 

There is still no evidence as to why she disappeared but based on video footage, a timeline of events put together by the police, and other evidence that was not disclosed to the public, police do not suspect criminal activity or foul play. They do hope that finding her body has brought some peace to Kori’s family. Kori’s father, Levar Gauthier, said that his prayer was answered and that prayer was that Kori be brought home so that she can be properly laid to rest. 

 

Kori was known as a bright, responsible young woman who lit up a room. She taught dance classes. Kori’s father continues to say how proud he is of his daughter even in death, that she was able to educate and unite so many people who were doing all they could to find her.

On behalf of our entire team, Kori’s family is in our prayers.

 

-Kaitlan Darby

Kaitlan Darby is a recent graduate of UL Lafayette. She has a B.A. in Mass Communication with a concentration in Public Relations and a minor in promotional management. She is a publicist, writer, and aspiring actress. She is the founder of Black Mamba Creative, which is her own creative arts/services outlet.

Instagram: @blackmambacreative

LinkedIn: Kaitlan Darby

Website: kaitlandarby.wixsite.com/portfolio

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