Equusearch, the Texas crew that New Orleans police have brought in to help search for missing teacher Terrilyn Monette, has found at least eight cars in Bayou St. John. But none of them is the teacher’s 2012 black Acura, last seen on March 2, Equusearch founder and director Tim Miller said Thursday.
“Waterways are good dumping grounds when somebody wants to get rid of a car for insurance reasons,” Miller said in trying to explain the fact that eight cars were found in the bayou.
The Equusearch crew, using 24-foot sonar boats that analyze sound waves to determine an underwater object’s size and shape, plans to send divers to check out a ninth car. That car has relatively few barnacles on it, indicating it may have landed in the bayou fairly recently, Miller said.
“We certainly don’t get too excited or get our hopes up until the divers come up and say there’s a chance,” Miller said.
Searchers have not found any signs of tire tracks in the land or mud surrounding various bodies of water between Parlay’s, the Lakeview bar in the 800 block of Harrison Avenue where Monette was last seen, and her apartment, Miller said.
U.S. Customs officials and State Police are using helicopters to conduct aerial searches of Lake Pontchartrain, said officer Hilal Williams, spokeswoman for the New Orleans Police Department.
Investigators have very few leads in the case, Miller said. “So far we’re at square one,” he said. “We’re no closer to finding her now than the first day, the day she disappeared.” But, he stressed, the search’s success could change in an instant. If authorities get a tip, he said, the crew will “drop everything and go to that spot.”
Police ask anyone with information on this missing person case, including the location of Monette’s 2012 black two-door Honda Accord, Louisiana license plate WUN494, to contact NOPD at 504.821.2222.
Article courtesy NOLA.com
11 or 12 cars believed to be in the bayou
Updated: Mar 15, 2013 6:01 PM CDT
Written by: Nancy Parker | Fox 8 News
New Orleans, La. –
The owner of a Texas search company says he’s bringing in bigger sonar units on Sunday. EquuSearch is combing area waterways for a missing teacher.
Tim Miller of EquuSearch says the same equipment used in the Natalee Holloway investigation in Aruba will be brought here.
Now the company is moving its efforts to find Terrilynn Monette to the bridge by Robert E. Lee, looking for any sign of Monette’s black Honda.
So many cars are under the waters of the bayou, though, it’s making their job trickier.
“We have seen many cars under the water. They are not all in clusters. Some of them are older than others and actually on the sonar machine you can see barnacles growing off of them,” said Caitlyn Garey of EquuSearch.
Crews face challenges as they look for any sign of Terrilynn Monette or her car beneath miles of bayou. There are so many other vehicles under the water.
“I think we got 11 or 12 in there, all along the bayou,” said Tim Miller.
The search crew says the cars may have been stolen, left over from Katrina, or dumped for some other reason.
Technology called side scan sonar bounces sound waves off objects to create images. Miller says the sonar reacts differently to new cars that are freshly buried under water. T
Finding so many cars in the water can definitely slow a search. Every car must be tagged with a heavy magnet attached to a buoy. Divers follow the line to the magnet to find the car.
It is meticulous work for a crew that specializes in finding the lost loved ones of others. But beneath Bayou St. John, there are cars whose stories remain untold.