Kori Gauthier.jpg

Gauthier, 19, disappeared before 1 a.m. on April 7. Her abandoned car was struck by a motorist on the Mississippi River bridge. 

Kori Gauthier, the LSU student whose body was found in the Mississippi River after a nearly weeklong search, died from drowning, according to a preliminary ruling from the coroner's office.

Police have said their investigation found no signs of foul play in Gauthier's death.

Kori Gauthier, missing LSU student, identified as body found in Mississippi River

Gauthier was reported missing last week after not showing up for class, work or a doctor's appointment. Relatives tracked her cellphone to a Baton Rouge salvage yard, where they found her totaled car. They then learned that someone had crashed into the car while it sat empty on the Interstate 10 Mississippi River Bridge early on April 7. 

Her disappearance launched a major search effort by police and volunteers along the levee. Several public prayer vigils drew large crowds, and her family received an outpouring of support on social media.

On Tuesday, a tugboat crewmember spotted a body in in the river in St. John the Baptist Parish. On Wednesday, university and police officials confirmed the body was Gauthier's. While the body was found in St. John the Baptist Parish, the East Baton Rouge Parish coroner is handling the case.

The East Baton Rouge Parish coroner's office emphasized Friday night that it's finding was preliminary and subject to change. It did not not say what led them to its preliminary conclusion

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The text of the coroner's office letter reads:

"Her PRELIMINARY cause of death is drowning pending further studies.

"It is an EBR case.

In missing Kori Gauthier's hometown, Opelousas prays for LSU student's family: 'You are not alone'

"Related testing such as toxicology typically takes 4-5 weeks.

"The autopsy report will be complete once all additional testing is completed."