Toxicology tests find ‘negligible’ trace of alcohol in Monette’s system

Advocate staff file photo by Eliot Kamenitz -- A car containing the body of missing schoolteacher Terrilynn Monette is pulled from Bayou St. John near Harrison Avenue on June 8, 2013.
Advocate staff file photo by Eliot Kamenitz -- A car containing the body of missing schoolteacher Terrilynn Monette is pulled from Bayou St. John near Harrison Avenue on June 8, 2013.

Toxicology results for Terrilynn Monette, the missing West Bank teacher whose body was found in her car at the bottom of Bayou St. John in June, appear to show she had a very small amount of alcohol in her system, state Rep. Austin Badon said on Friday.

Badon, D-New Orleans, led search efforts for Monette, 26, who was last seen early March 2 at Parlay’s, a bar in the 800 block of Harrison Avenue in Lakeview.

Toxicology tests showed a “negligible” amount of alcohol in Monette’s system, Badon said.

“She was not drunk, she was not impaired,” Badon said.

The Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office declined Friday to comment on the results, noting that its investigation continues.

An autopsy previously found that Monette drowned. Pathologists found no signs of trauma to her decomposed body. A team of forensic dentists from the LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Dentistry confirmed the body was Monette by examining her teeth.

A Slidell police officer who volunteered in the weeks-long search for Monette found her car the morning of June 8 in the bayou at Wisner Boulevard.

Beyond the toxicology results, Badon said Monette’s car had no damage to it beyond some on the bottom, which likely happened when her car careened into the bayou.

It also appeared that Monette tried to get out of the car after it began to sink, Badon said, noting that she had no seatbelt on and that one of her boots was stuck behind the brake pedal. Badon said the driver’s side window was down when the car was pulled from the bayou, but it was not clear if it was down while Monette drove or if she lowered it as a way to try to escape the sinking vehicle.

Monette’s family cremated her remains and brought them back to her native Long Beach, Calif.

Editor’s note: This story was updated to correct the location where Terrilynn Monette’s car and body were discovered.