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Foul play suspected after missing girl, 16, found dead in ditch

MATT SLEDGE and RAMON ANTONIO VARGAS

The New Orleans Advocate

Jorian White
Jorian White

A 16-year-old Kenner girl reported missing on Friday was found dead in a drainage ditch in the St. Charles Parish community of St. Rose two days later, according to officials.

The body of Jorion White, a junior at Bonnabel Magnet Academy High School, had apparently been dumped in the ditch, and deputies “suspect foul play,” said Major Rodney Madere, the St. Charles Parish sheriff’s chief of investigations. Madere didn’t elaborate, saying the investigation was ongoing.

White was last seen in 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, the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office said.

The Sheriff’s Office then said White’s body was discovered about 4 p.m. Sunday in water along St. Rose Avenue, which is a few miles away from her home in Kenner.

A passenger in a car driving down St. Rose Avenue on Sunday afternoon spotted White’s body, Madere said. Madere said that investigators have questioned several people since White went missing but declined to say more.

St. Charles Parish Coroner Dr. Brian Brogle said dental records confirmed White’s identity on Monday afternoon. He said his office has not determined a manner of death for White, and routine toxicology test results are pending.

White’s relatives realized she was missing when she failed to return from Bonnabel on Friday evening, according to Katrice Reid, a family friend who described herself as the girl’s godmother.

Reid said the family then realized White had never gone to school on Friday morning. From that moment on, friends and relatives plastered Kenner’s streets with flyers and went door to door in an effort to find her.

Reid said White smiled constantly, read inspirational books like “Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul,” and cooked “customized” Pillsbsury cookies for loved ones.

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