UPDATE (8:30 p.m.): Following search efforts throughout the day Saturday for missing LSU student Kori Gauthier of Opelousas, LSU released the following statement:
Search efforts are continuing in a targeted area of the Mississippi River throughout the weekend for missing LSU student Kori Gauthier. On Saturday, a K9 cadaver dog with Mercy Search & Rescue alerted twice in the same area on the river, which is 85-90 feet deep with conditions that were unsafe to deploy divers. On Sunday, April 11, Mounted Patrol will be searching the levee in both directions from Farr Park, while EBRSO, LDWF, LSUPD and BRPD will continue boat searches, including with the latest available sonar technology.
At this time, based on evidence collected during the investigation thus far, law enforcement officials suspect that no criminal activity or foul play took place. Officials continue to keep in close contact with Kori’s parents to keep them updated on any developments. We ask everyone to respect their privacy during this time and to keep them in your thoughts.
LSU PD has opened a command center, and anyone with information is asked to call 225-578-0807.
The search for Gauthier resumed Saturday morning in Baton Rouge with volunteers conducting an ATV search of the levee and searching on horseback.
Gauthier has been missing since early Wednesday morning, when her car was found abandoned on the Mississippi River bridge after another motorist crashed into it. The LSU freshman was not in her vehicle, but her family says that her wallet and phone were still inside.
LSU released the following statement Saturday morning:
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. 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. We are aware there are those who want us to address the many rumors and speculation, but our focus is on locating Kori and respecting her parents’ privacy in the process.
Searches first began Friday morning in Baton Rouge, where volunteers gathered to assist law enforcement and the United Cajun Navy in the search efforts. Drones and helicopters were used to survey the river, while BRPD and the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office used boats to survey the Mississippi from below.
Kori's uncle, Spencer Gauthier, shared a Facebook post on Thursday asking for volunteers to help in the search for his niece.
"The car, the phone, the wallet, everything has been found," he said. "I just haven't found my niece physically. I'm not giving up on her. She's coming home."
LSU released a statement regarding Gauthier's disappearance Thursday evening:
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