Jorion White was looking forward to getting her first car and dreamed of becoming a nurse or a hairdresser.
On Sunday, two days after White was reported missing, a passenger in a car spotted the 16-year-old girl’s body in a St. Rose drainage ditch.
Her body apparently had been dumped there and deputies “suspect foul play,” said Maj. Rodney Madere, chief of investigations for the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Madere didn’t elaborate, saying the investigation was ongoing.
“My baby was left on the side of the road,” said Katrice Reid, a family friend who described herself as the godmother of White, a junior at Bonnabel Magnet Academy High School. “It don’t look good, where she was found, and how she was found.”
White was last seen at her home in the 2600 block of Phoenix Street in Kenner about 9:30 p.m. Thursday, and she was reported missing to Kenner police on Friday evening.
The Sheriff’s Office said White’s body was discovered about 4 p.m. Sunday in water along St. Rose Avenue, a few miles from her home across the parish line.
Madere said investigators have questioned several people since White went missing but declined to say more.
Dental records were used to confirm White’s identity, according to St. Charles Parish Coroner Dr. Brian Brogle. He said his office has not determined the cause of death, and routine toxicology test results are pending.
St. Charles Parish detectives searched White’s home on Monday with the help of Kenner cops, Kenner Police Department spokesman Lt. Brian McGregor said. The detectives confiscated various items and towed a car away, he said.
White’s relatives realized she was missing when she failed to return from her school Friday evening, according to Reid.
The family then discovered she had never gone to school Friday morning, according to Reid. From that moment on, friends and relatives plastered Kenner’s streets with fliers and went door to door in an effort to find her.
Reid said White was the youngest of five siblings. She smiled constantly, read inspirational books like “Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul” and baked “customized” Pillsbury cookies for loved ones, she said.
White was looking forward to getting her first car and visiting her father in Dallas this summer, Reid said. When she grew up, she hoped to become first a nurse, then a hairdresser.
“She was just sweet all-around,” Reid said. “She stayed inside; she did what she was supposed to do.”
On Saturday, White’s 18-year-old brother Darrius Price took to Facebook to say, “I hope my sister is safe, lord.”
On Sunday, the family heard the news about the discovery of a girl’s body in St. Charles Parish and started to suspect the worst. On Monday, authorities gave official confirmation.
Price took to Facebook again Monday, writing, “Glad to hear that my beautiful little baby sister is safe with the lord.”
Reid said the family is now praying for strength. She is convinced that the teenager did not leave the family’s Kenner home on her own accord.
“Not the way they said she was dressed,” Reid said. “She was a perfect young lady. She liked to have her hair combed, she liked to have her dress all nice, and they found her in pink rollers. That is not something that she would normally go out of the house in.”
“She was 16 years old,” Reid said. “Her life was cut completely short.”
The St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office asked anyone with information about White’s death to call Detective Joseph Dewhirst at (985) 783-1135 or (985) 783-6807. Tipsters also can call Crimestoppers anonymously at (877) 903-7867.