Woman Vanishes While Boating as Police Investigate Whether It's 'Horrific Accident' or a Crime

Louisiana authorities have more questions than answers as they continue to search for 32-year-old Sadie Thibodeaux, who disappeared while sailing on Sunday, PEOPLE confirms.

On Tuesday, while sweeping Lake Pontchartrain, where Thibodeaux went missing, a woman’s body was found. However officials are unable to confirm whether the body is Thibodeaux, a New Orleans police spokesperson tells PEOPLE.

At a news conference on Tuesday, police Cmdr. Jeff Walls said 43-year-old Michael Farley was rescued from the lake several hours after the boat, which belonged to him, was found unmanned on Monday.

Farley was not wearing a life jacket, Walls said, and he showed “obvious signs” of being in the water for an extended period of time.

Walls said Farley was “very cooperative” with investigators and gave a detailed explanation of how he and Thibodeaux had ended up in the water. Walls declined to reveal what Farley said had happened.

While police described Thibodeaux and Farley as a couple who had been “dating for a period of time,” loved ones told the Times-Picayune that they were only friends.

“She had just moved down here. Michael was pretty much her only friend outside of work,” Nikki Thibodeaux-Dowden, Thibodeaux’s sister, told the paper. “He helped her get settled and they would hang out, but it was strictly platonic, at least on Sadie’s side.”

While homicide investigators are assisting with the case, Walls said it is unclear whether foul play is involved.

“At the end of the day this could be a horrific accident or it could be a real crime,” he said. “So that’s why we’re processing and taking the time we are, to make sure that we do the best we can for Sadie.”

Though the body’s identity remains unconfirmed, Thibodeaux’s friends and family said they felt a sense of relief, according to the Times-Picayune.

“I’m just happy we found her,” her ex-husband, Kerald Smith, told the paper.

Smith said he and Thibodeaux — who had recently relocated for work from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to New Orleans — remained close after being together for 11 years.

“The whole while I was driving here from Baton Rouge I was like, ‘Where is she?’ ” he said. “I now can get some sleep tonight.”

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The Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office will be conducting an autopsy on the woman’s body and will release the cause of death and identification at a later date, according to police.

In the meantime, the investigation remains a top priority for the department.

“We’re hoping we find Sadie. We’re not giving up hope on Sadie,” Walls said on Tuesday. “We’re going to keep searching for Sadie until there’s no hope left.”

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