Authorities were searching for a missing woman after an unmanned sailboat was found drifting in Lake Pontchartrain Sunday evening.
The Coast Guard was looking for 32-year-old Sadie Thibodeaux of Baton Rouge. Thibodeaux is believed to have been one of two people who were on board the boat. Another person, 43-year-old Michael Lee Farley, was rescued from the lake early Monday morning. The Coast Guard said he was in "good condition", and he has since been released from medical care.
On Tuesday, an NOPD spokesperson said the two had been dating for some time. Police also said the investigation is being treated as a homicide, as is typical of missing persons cases.
Authorities say the 34-foot vessel was first spotted just before 6 p.m. Sunday. The boat was "uncrewed", but a dog and cellphones were found on-board.
The search picked back up Tuesday morning around 7 a.m. until the body was eventually found.
Thibodeaux's family and friends believe that among the myriad questions surrounding her disappearance, one question may have been answered.
"I'm just happy we found her," said Kerald Smith, Thibodeaux's close friend and ex-husband. "The whole while I was driving here from Baton Rouge I was like, 'Where is she?'"
Smith said he and Thibodeaux were together for 11 years, beginning when she was 19 and he was 21, and that they have remained close.
"We were never not going to be friends," he said.
He described Thibodeaux as a passionate, determined person with a loving nature and a soft spot for animals.
Since the body's recovery Tuesday afternoon, Smith said he feels relieved.
"I now can get some sleep tonight," he said.
Thibodeaux's sister, Nikki Thibodeaux-Dowden, said she was grateful for the volunteers, including the United Cajun Navy, which found the body, as well as family and friends who helped in the search.
"I'm just thankful we were able to get a connection with people who were compassionate and motivated," Thibodeaux-Dowden said.
Original Video Before the body was found
Sailing Merchandise on Sale
Source : WBRZ ABC News