SAN BERNARDINO - Toni Enclade doesn't sleep much anymore.

"I try, but I just can't sleep," said Enclade, a Long Beach resident whose daughter, Cal State San Bernardino graduate Terrilynn Monette, went missing March 2 in New Orleans.

"I need my daughter back - I need her back with me. Whoever has her, let her go," Enclade's tearful plea went out to the crowd that gathered Saturday afternoon in front of the university's Pfau Library.

"We have faith that she will be found and be all right," said Candice Enclade, Monette's 28-year-old sister, who also lives in Long Beach.

"We have to have faith. "

Toni Enclade, left, mother of Terrilynn Monette, and Kandice Enclade, Monette’s sister, embrace following the conclusion of the prayer vigil.
Toni Enclade, left, mother of Terrilynn Monette, and Kandice Enclade, Monette's sister, embrace following the conclusion of the prayer vigil. (Khai Le/Correspondent)

Monette's family members were among Cal State San Bernardino students, alumni, faculty and staff and local clergy attending a prayer vigil at the university, where Monette earned her bachelor's degree in liberal studies in 2010.

The prayer vigil was intended to raise awareness about Monette's disappearance, organizers said.

Twillea Evans-Carthen, one of the organizers, was a sorority sister to Monette. "When you come from a family that is connected and you get that call in the middle of the night, you hit the 'pause' button with your life and you are there for the people who need you," Evans-Carthen said.

Monette, 26, grew up in Long Beach and moved to San Bernardino to live on campus.

She went to New Orleans to participate in the nonprofit Teach NOLA program, which sends teachers to impoverished areas, according to news reports.

She is a second-grade teacher at Woodland West Elementary School in New Orleans.

The school's principal, Amy Hoyle, said Monette came to the school in October and turned one of the lowest-performing classes into one that became the highest-achieving.

That effort led her to being nominated for Teacher of the Year.

Marion Black holds a flower for Terrilynn Monette.
Marion Black holds a flower for Terrilynn Monette. (Khai Le/Correspondent)

News reports say Monette and friends were out celebrating the nomination at a New Orleans bar before she disappeared early on March 2.

New Orleans police released surveillance videos that showed Monette alone in her car near the bar.

Hundreds of volunteers have assisted New Orleans police, the FBI, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Louisiana State Police and Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office in the search.

Various prayer vigils have been held in New Orleans and Long Beach.

A candlelight prayer vigil is planned at 7 p.m. Thursday at New Orleans City Hall.


Reach Michel via email, find her on Twitter @michelnolan, or call her at 909-386-3859.