Courtesy of Huffington Post Black Voices
The day Toni Enclade has dreaded is upon her — Mother’s Day.
Enclade’s 26-year-old daughter Terrilynn Monette, a teacher in New Orleans, vanished on March 2. Enclade has been preparing herself to face the second Sunday in May without her.
“I have to keep myself strong for her because if I don’t do it, I don’t think anybody else will,” Enclade told HuffPost in a phone interview this week.
Monette, a second grade teacher, was last seen in surveillance footage driving alone in the early morning hours. She had been socializing with friends in Parlay’s Bar in the Lakeview neighborhood. Her black 2012 Honda Accord has not been found.
Enclade, 50, has made several trips from her home in Long Beach, Calif., to New Orleans to look for her daughter and to keep the search in the news. Her next trip is scheduled for May 17.
“It’s very hard,” said Enclade, who maintains a degree of normalcy by spending time with her other daughter and two grandchildren. “They’re what keeps me going.”
A state lawmaker who was moved by seeing Enclade’s televised pleas for information arranged for tow companies to dredge Bayou Saint John in an effort to locate Monette’s car.
“She’s very distraught,” said state Rep. Austin Badon (D), who regularly talks to Enclade. “The worst part about it is that she has no answers. It’s like her daughter just vanished from the face of the earth.
“I dreaded calling her the other day, because we had been doing things on an almost daily basis and I didn’t know what we were going to do next,” Badon said. “We’re running out of places to look in the New Orleans area, to be honest with you.’
Crews plucked 17 sunken cars this week from Bayou Saint John. They will scour the water again with sonar equipment on Sunday in an area near where “weeks old” tire tracks lead to the shoreline, Badon said. Canals and other waterways have been plumbed since April.
Police interviewed a man who was seen talking to Monette outside the bar. At this time police have no official suspects, but haven’t ruled out anything, according to local station WDSU.
The New Orleans Police Department said it doesn’t suspect foul play and classifies Monette as a missing person.
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