Search effort underway for missing LSU student whose car was found on Mississippi River bridge

MEREDITH DELISO
·2 min read
Search effort underway for missing LSU student whose car was found on Mississippi River bridge

Authorities and volunteers are searching for a missing Louisiana State University student whose car was found abandoned on a Mississippi River bridge in Baton Rouge earlier this week.

Kori Gauthier, a freshman at LSU, was last seen Tuesday, her family said.

Officers found her car after midnight Wednesday on the eastbound side of the Horace Wilkinson Bridge on Interstate 10 after someone crashed into it, police said. Her car was left unoccupied on the bridge, which is about 2 miles from the university campus, for at least an hour before the crash, Baton Rouge ABC affiliate WBRZ reported.

PHOTO: Kori Gauthier, a freshman at LSU, has not been seen since Wednesday, April 7, 2021. Her car was found on a bridge in Baton Rouge, La., after being hit by another vehicle. (LSU Police Department)
PHOTO: Kori Gauthier, a freshman at LSU, has not been seen since Wednesday, April 7, 2021. Her car was found on a bridge in Baton Rouge, La., after being hit by another vehicle. (LSU Police Department)

Her keys, phone and wallet were all found inside the car, according to her uncle, Spencer Gauthier.

Search efforts have been underway in the days since her car was found, including local authorities, the United Cajun Navy and volunteers. A Baton Rouge Police Department dive team has been searching the Mississippi River, WBRZ reported.

PHOTO: The area around the Mississippi River Bridge is being searched in an effort to find 19-year-old LSU student Kori Gauthier in Baton Rouge, La., April 9, 2021. (WBRZ)
PHOTO: The area around the Mississippi River Bridge is being searched in an effort to find 19-year-old LSU student Kori Gauthier in Baton Rouge, La., April 9, 2021. (WBRZ)

On Friday, over 300 people were involved in the search, according to the United Cajun Navy, which has been employing volunteers on foot, horseback, all-terrain vehicles, drones, boats and helicopters.

The search resumed early Saturday morning, as the community prayed for Kori Gauthier to be found safe.

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"She's a fun-loving girl. Loves being a college student," her father, Levar Gauthier, told WBRZ. "I hope and pray that she's just somewhere injured, and just, it's taking us a while to get to her, so she can live her dream and graduate from LSU and become a teacher and open her own dance studio."

"If you find her, just bring her home so we can make that a reality," he added.

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The LSU Police Department is investigating Kori Gauthier's disappearance.

"We want to assure the LSU community that the search for missing LSU student Kori Gauthier continues in cooperation with law enforcement officials and volunteers throughout the region," the university tweeted Saturday. "LSU Police Department is in contact with Kori’s parents and keeping them updated and informed throughout, including sharing details that, out of respect for the family’s privacy and to protect the integrity of the investigation, are not being shared with the general public."

PHOTO: A missing person flyer circulated on Twitter shows missing LSU student Kori Gauthier. (KATC via LSU Twitter)
PHOTO: A missing person flyer circulated on Twitter shows missing LSU student Kori Gauthier. (KATC via LSU Twitter)

As of Saturday evening, the LSU Police Department did not have an update on the case, a spokesperson told ABC News.

Spencer Gauthier is offering a $10,000 reward "to anyone that leads her home."

Kori Gauthier is 5-foot-5, weighs between 115 and 120 pounds and has dark brown hair and brown eyes. Anyone with information is asked to contact LSU Police at 225-578-3231.

Search effort underway for missing LSU student whose car was found on Mississippi River bridge originally appeared on abcnews.go.com