The family of a university student who went missing in May say they can finally begin to grieve after police positively identified a body they found earlier this week. Police say the body discovered in Evangeline Parish was that of Michaela ''Mickey'' Shunick. Her family said Friday they can begin the healing process now and are asking for privacy from the media. (Special to the American Press)
Last Modified: Friday, August 10, 2012 12:22 PM
LAFAYETTE (AP) — A body found this week is that of Michaela "Mickey" Shunick, a college student missing since May, Lafayette police said Thursday.
The Shunick family did not immediately respond to a message left on their answering machine. A two-sentence news release from police said there would be no further comment on the investigation at this time.
Shunick was last seen riding her bicycle from a friend's house early May 19, days before her 22nd birthday. Eight days later, the black Schwinn was found partly submerged in a swampy area under a highway bridge in Iberville Parish, about 25 miles from the spot where she was last seen.
Her decomposed remains were found Tuesday near a cemetery off of Louisiana Highway 10 in Evangeline Parish.
Cpl. Paul Mouton, a police spokesman, said a "credible witness" led them to the spot.
He said earlier this week that he could not say whether that witness was Brandon Lavergne, 33, a registered sex offender who is charged with first-degree murder and aggravated kidnapping in that case and with the first-degree murder of Lisa Marie Pate in July 1999. He has pleaded not guilty to all counts and is being held without bond.
An inmate custody form shows that he was checked out of the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center at 6:40 a.m. Tuesday and taken across the street to the sheriff's department. He was checked back in around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, said sheriff's Capt. Kip Judice.
Shunick's remains were turned over to the Louisiana State University FACES Laboratory to identify.