Search for missing LSU student underway near Mississippi River

A search for missing Louisiana State University student Kori Gauthier is underway near the Mississippi River, where the 18-year-old was last seen three days ago.

The United Cajun Navy, a local nonprofit that provides search, rescue and disaster relief, organized a group of volunteers on horseback and ATVs Saturday morning to continue searching for Gauthier on both sides of the river. On Friday, over 300 volunteers were involved in the search for the first-year college student.

LSU police, the agency in charge of the missing person's investigation, said Friday Gauthier's vehicle was found unoccupied at the scene of a crash.

Baton Rouge police "responded to the Horace Wilkinson Bridge regarding a reported accident involving a stalled vehicle" shortly after midnight Wednesday, according to the agency.

"Upon arrival the officer observed the stalled vehicle was unoccupied. The officer acted quickly to have the vehicle removed from the roadway to prevent any other crashes. The registered owner of the unoccupied vehicle was not contacted, but this investigation remained ongoing," Baton Rouge police said in a statement.

LSU police said Gauthier is 5 feet, 5 inches tall and weighs between 115 and 120 pounds. She has dark brown hair and brown eyes.

Family members, LSU students, and strangers have come together to search for her, WVLA, the NBC affiliate in Baton Rouge, reported.

Spencer Gauthier, Kori's uncle, thanked everyone for "donating their time" to search for his niece, he told WVLA.

LSU Police has been investigating the disappearance of one of our students, freshman Kori Gauthier, and has been in close contact with her family. Anyone with information on Kori Gauthier is asked to contact LSU Police at (225) 578-3231.

— LSU (@LSU) April 9, 2021

LSU students also organized a prayer vigil on Friday night to show their support to the family during a difficult time.

“As a student, I feel like I have to do something. Like there’s no way I can sit back and let this go without me being on the ground and trying to do something to help out,” Bria Joseph, a first-year student who attended the vigil, told WVLA.

In a Twitter thread Saturday morning, Louisiana State University said they are working "in cooperation with law enforcement officials and volunteers throughout the region" as they continue to investigate Gauthier's disappearance and search for her.

"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," the university said.

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