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 Lavergne appeal denied by Third Circuit
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1 year ago

Lavergne appeal denied by Third Circuit

The Louisiana Third Circuit Court of Appeals has denied an appeal filed by Brandon Scott Lavergne. The court ruled that the appeal was improperly filed. This is the second Lavergne appeal denied by the court. The Third Circuit Court last month shot down an appeal claiming the court was in error by denying a motion for discovery.

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1 year ago

District Judge Denies Brandon Scott Lavergne's Claims

A state district judge has denied convicted killer Brandon Scott Lavergne's request to withdraw his guilty plea.

In one of his claims, Lavergne argues items--such as his cell phone, computers, clothes, documents, and a sword--taken during the investigation should be returned to him. He says they're not contraband and they're no longer needed as evidence, but 15th Judical District Judge Herman Clause denied his request based on Lavergne's application to withdraw his guilty plea. "Thus the possibility of renewed prosecution of the case and the defendant going to trial for these crimes remains," Clause noted in his order. He added, "In that situation, the seized property may be needed as evidence."

Lavergne is serving two life sentences for killing Pate and Mickey Shunick and avoided the death penalty in exchange for confessions and telling investigators the location of Shunick's body.

Judge Clause denied all four of Lavergne's post conviction relief claims. Lavergne argues lack of jurisdiction in the Lisa Pate case and an illegal indictment, denied due process and the right to a fair trial, torture and coercion, and ineffective attorneys.

In his first claim, Lavergne argues Lafayette Parish was not the proper venue for the Lisa Pate case because her body was found in Acadia Parish. He believes Lafayette had no jurisdiction to indict and prosecute him in for that murder and claims double jeopardy since a Grand Jury was held in both Acadia and Lafayette Parishes. In 2008, the Acadia Grand Jury, didn't have enough evidence to indict him on a murder charge. "The defendant enticed or persuaded Lisa Pate in Lafayette Parish to go to another place outside of Lafayette Parish," Clause ruled. He continued, "Accordingly, an act or element of Pate's kidnap/murder occuring in Lafayette Parish was part of the State's case."

As for Lavergne's claim of being denied due process and a right to a fair trial, Judge Clause said the claims are irrelevant based on Lavergne's guilty plea. "A review of the Plea and Sentencing Hearing transcript, as well as the Psychological Report, Agreement, and Statement in Support of Plea indicate that the defendant was clearly explained his rights and that his responses were knowing and voluntary," the judge ruled.

His ruling shows the psychological report concluded that Lavergne "was in the high average range of intellectual functioning and factual understanding of the legal process intact." Judge Clause further stated, "He knowingly and voluntarily waived the right to a fair and impartial trial and all other constitutional rights. Furthermore, the State did nothing to in contravention of the plea agreement."

Lavergne's claims of torture and coercion are unfounded. He claims media hype and law enforcement leaks tainted the jury pool and that solitary confinement and no outside recreation tortured him and caused him to go insane. He claims the conditions "impaired his ability to make a rational choice in any matter." But, referring again to the Psychological Report, a doctor found Lavergne able to reasonably consult with an attorney, able to understand general legal information, and able to communicate preferences about how his case will be handled. "Consequently, the court finds the allegations of torture and coercion are irrelevant and were waived upon the defendant's properly entered plea of guilty," Clause said.

Judge Clause denied Lavergne's claim of having ineffective attorneys. Lavergne claims his attorney's did nothing to stop "leaks" of publicity, and among other claims, abandoned him while he was leading law enforcement to Shunick's body, which happened after he signed the plea agreement and confessed. Also, Lavergne claims his attorneys improperly advised him to accept the plea agreement and claims his attorneys didn't tell him he could plead no contest. In his denial, Judge Clause said, "At the Plea and Sentencing Hearing, the court thoroughly questioned the defendant regarding his representation by counsel. On page 17 of the Transcript, the court begins by explaining in detail the right to counsel as well as the right to defend himself, with the attorney having free access in private at all reasonable hours. The court asked the defendant if he had any problems, and defendant responded no, except for a couple of issues with phones, "everything was good."

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1 year ago

Brandon Lavergne files another complaint; Begins a hunger strike

Convicted killer Brandon Scott Lavergne is not keeping quiet behind bars. He's filed a handwritten complaint with the D.A.'s office about his living conditions at Angola. Lavergne writes he's in solitary confinement 23 hours a day for his own protection, but he thinks it's for political reasons. He says he was told he "wasn't showing enough remorse for Mickey Shunick and needed to sit in a cell for a while so he could think about it". Lavergne also says he's started a hunger strike on Sunday as a non-violent protest. Lavergne is serving back to back life sentences after confessing to the murders of both Mickey Shunick and Lisa Pate.

CLICK HERE to see the original documents filed.

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1 year ago

DA Refutes Lavergne's Claims

The 15th Judicial District Attorney's Office has responded to claims made by Brandon Scott Lavergne in an attempt to have the case against him overturned.

In their response filed February 21, prosecutors refute Lavergne's claim that Lafayette Parish was not the proper venue for the Lisa Pate case. The prosecution says because Lavergne admitted in his plea agreement that he met Pate in Lafayette Parish, part of the crime occurred there. This, they say, allowed the case to be heard in Lafayette Parish.

The state says Lavergne's claims of an unfair trial are moot because his signing of the plea agreement waived his right to a speedy trial. Prosecutors also say Lavergne's guilty plea waived any right he had to file motions for a change of venue due to pre-trial publicity.

Lavergne claimed in his initial filing that the use of solitary confinement affected his mental capacity. Prosecutors say that Lavergne was held in solitary confinement for his own protection. They also say a psychiatrist found Lavergne to have a "high average range of intellectual functioning" during tests. The state also says Lavergne acknowledged his plea was free and without coercion when he entered his guilty plea.

Lavergne's final claim was that his counsel was ineffective. The state argues Lavergne's attorneys were capable and that Lavergne cannot prove "there is a reasonable probability that but for unprofessional errors, the result [of the case] . . . would have been different."

In the plea agreement also filed with the state's brief's, Lavergne agreed that he would never seek monetary gains through books, movies, or interviews about the crimes in which he was involved.

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1 year ago

DA will file responses to Brandon Scott Lavergne's motions

15th Judicial District Attorney Mike Harson's office will file written response to Brandon Scott Lavergne's recent motions. Lavergne claims, among other things, that his constitutional rights were violated, his lawyers were ineffective, and he was forced to confess. Also, he's asked for copies of the search warrant investigators used to seize his phone when he was arrested. A judge gave Harson's office a deadline of Feb. 15 to file responses. Harson says the next step is a judge will probably grant an evidentiary hearing at a later date.

Lavergne pled guilty to killing Mickey Shunick and Lisa Pate. In one of his motions, Lavergne said Lafayette was not the proper venue for the Lisa Pate case. Pate, who lived in Lafayette Parish, was found dead in September 1999 in Church Point in Acadia Parish. In 2008, a grand jury didn't have enough evidence to indict Lavergne on a second-degree murder charge. The case was brought to a Lafayette Grand Jury in 2012 on the same day Mickey Shunick's case went before the grand jury. Jurors indicted in Shunick's first-degree murder and Pate's murder.

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1 year ago

Brandon Scott Lavergne re-files documents asking judge to throw out his pleas

Brandon Scott Lavergne is again asking a judge to throw out his guilty pleas. Lavergne is sentenced to life in prison at Angola after confessing to killing Mickey Shunick and Lisa Pate. He initially filed the documents in January, but a judge denied his request and told him to re-file his motion in accordance with state law. His latest filing was filed Thursday, Feb. 7.

Lavernge claims his constitutional rights were violated, his lawyers were ineffective, he was forced to confess and claims Lafayette was not the proper venue for the Lisa Pate case. In his post-conviction relief motion, Lavergne says, "The court did not have jurisidiction in the Lisa Pate case, the conviction was obtained through violations of the petitioners constitutional rights."

Pate's body was found in September 1999 in Church Point in Acadia Parish. In 2008, a grand jury didn't have enough evidence to indict him on a second-degree murder charge. The case was brought to a Lafayette Grand Jury in 2012 on the same day Mickey Shunick's case went before the grand jury. Jurors indicted in Shunick's first-degree murder and Pate's murder.

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1 year ago

Judge Orders Prosecutors to Respond to Lavergne Motions

A district judge has ordered prosecutors in Brandon Scott Lavergne's case to provide responses to motions filed by Lavergne last month. Judge Herman Clause gave the prosecution until next Friday--February 15--to "assist the court in addressing (Lavergne's) requests" and to "insure representation by both the State and the defense." In paperwork filed January 22, Lavergne requested, among other documents, copies of court transcripts and pretrial motions, warrants, and a list of witnesses.

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1 year ago

Lavergne Requests Gag Order, Investigation into Mail Tampering

Convicted murderer Brandon Scott Lavergne has asked a district court judge to issue a gag order against the District Attorney Mike Harson's office until a ruling is made on his appeal. In documents filed on January 22, Lavergne says he feels "the state is playing politics with (his) life and attempting to use the tide of public opinion to influence the judgment of (the court)." Lavergne also says media's access to his court filings "further damage" his ability to receive a fair trial.

Lavergne also requested a formal investigation of staff at the Angola State Penitentiary after they allegedly tampered with court documents mailed to him. Lavergne alleges that legal mail sent was opened prior to his receiving it. Lavergne also says appeals documents attached to a ruling sent to him by Judge Herman Clause were missing from his packet.

Also in the filings, Lavergne requested several other documents.
They include:
--The documents missing from the aforementioned legal mail sent to him.
--April 2008 grand jury transcripts pertaining to the Lisa Pate case
--Copies of his conviction and sentence,
--The list of witnesses who testified in the Mickey Shunick and Lisa Pate
--Sentencing transcripts and pre-trial motions made by his court-appointed attorneys.
--The warrant allowing his ex-wife to record audio during a prison visit in 2005
--Copies of correspondance his ex-wife had with prosecutors and the Acadia Parish Sheriff's Office.
--The warrant authorizing the July 5 search on his truck, which led to the seizure of his iPhone.

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1 year ago

Shunick Case Featured on Tuesday DATELINE Episode

The Mickey Shunick story will be featured on an upcoming episode of DATELINE NBC. Crews spoke with Mickey's sister, Charlene Shunick, and police and prosecutors who worked the case. The program will air tomorrow night at 9:00 P. M.

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1 year ago

Prosecutors Confident Case Against Lavergne 'Solid'

Convicted killer Brandon Scott Lavergne is trying to have his convictions for the murders of Mickey Shunick, and Lisa Pate, thrown out.

It's called a Post-Conviction Relief motion, and prosecutors say it's not uncommon for those serving life sentences, like Lavergne, to make these request, but his was thrown out on a technicality.

Lavergne submitted his petition last month, last week the court responded, denying his request to dismiss his charges because he didn't use the right forms.

"In this case he didn't even comply minimally with the requirements to apply," said ADA Daniel Landry. "Judge Clause summarily denied it with the indication that if he did file it in the proper form, he would look at it."

In Lavergne's petition, he alleges a number of constitutional violations. He claims, among other things, an improper venue for the Lisa Pate case; A tainted jury pool due to media coverage of the Mickey Shunick case; And inadequate counsel from his court-appointed attorneys.

"We're not worried about it," said Landry. "The plea agreement that the prosecution team put into the record was signed off on by all parties. There was a plea agreement, and then there was a factual statement, that was read into the record and he was asked, under oath, if he concurred with it. So most of those bases are unfounded in our opinion."

Lavergne says he was forced to plead guilty in the murders of both Mickey Shunick, and Lisa Pate. In his taped confession, Lavergne even showed police where Mickey's body was.

In his petition, Lavergne alleges he wasn't in the proper mental state, despite the court entering a psych evaluation into evidence, which he passed, prior to taking his plea.

"We anticipated that. In any plea agreement, that person will come in and say 'I didn't know what I was doing, I was operating under a diminished capacity,'" said Landry. "That's one of the reasons the prosecution team insisted, prior to taking the plea, he submit to a psychological evaluation."

Still, Lavergne has more than a year left to re-file his petition. Prosecutors say their case is solid and are confident the court will continue to deny Lavergne's request.

Lavergne remains at Angola State Prison serving two consecutive life sentences.

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1 year ago

Brandon Scott Lavergne Files to Have Conviction Dismissed (PDF)

Brandon Scott Lavergne's request to have his conviction and sentence thrown out have been denied by a district judge. In an order filed January 2, Judge Herman Clause remanded the petition back to Lavergne because it was not filed in compliance with state law. The order says Lavergne may re-file his petition once it is in compliance with state guidelines.

Lavergne's petition alleges--among others--an improper venue for the Lisa Pate case, a tainted jury pool due to media coverage of the Mickey Shunick case, and inadequate counsel from his court-appointed attorneys.

To read the Lavergne's full appeal and Judge Herman Clause's reponse, click here.

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1 year ago

New information on Texas woman whose ID found in Laveregne's home

New information tonight on the Texas woman, whose ID was found in Brandon Scott Lavergne's Church Point home. Madeline Aumiller is in her 50's. She's from the Beaumont area. Family members say they haven't heard from her in six months.

As you recall, Aumiller's ID, along with her deceased father's ID, were found in Brandon Lavergne's residence during a search of his property during the Mickey Shunick investigation. But there is no known connection between Aumiller and Lavergne. Family members say they became estranged, and she stopped withdrawing from her bank account in April. But we're learning, things may change.

Aumiller's brother isn't saying much, but did answer a few questions. He says he still hasn't heard from her, but has heard she's alive, and somewhere in the Fort Polk area. KATC found out there is a Madeline Aumiller listed as a lighting designer in a Fort Polk theatre production. Her brother told us he believes it's her, because she has ties to the Fort Polk area, specifically another member of the theatre group she has been friends with since the 80's. Aumiller also has a background in theatre. But, military police cannot confirm if she is the Madeline Aumiller everyone has been looking for.

Lafayette Police have confirmed they're interviewing the woman to see if she's the same one whose ID was found in Lavergne's home.

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1 year ago

Lavergne's video confession made public

A KATC exclusive: The video taped confession of Brandon Scott Lavergne.

We know it's a story some will not want to watch, and we get that, still we think it's an important story to tell. It's the confession from Mickey Shunick's killer, Brandon Lavergne. Mickey,and her story, captivated this community, unlike anyone else in recent memory, and today we were given, what we hope is the final element of this tragedy. Another warning,many will find this report disturbing.

"You ready to do this?," said an officer. "Lets get it over with," said Lavergne.

On August 7th, police interviewed Brandon Lavergne. That morning, Lavergne confessed to killing Mickey Shunick and led police to her body. Police used Google maps and had Lavergne point out the location.

"It's a small community cemetary completed surrounded by trees," said Lavergne.

Lavergne details what happened the night he killed Mickey, he says he was playing with his phone, when he claims he accidentally hit Mickey on her bike. He didn't want to call police because he had been drinking, was a convicted felon and had a gun in his truck. He said he and Mickey agreed not to call the cops. He told her he'd give her a ride home. He says she got into his truck, but he became angry when she asked him to pay for the damage.

" She reached down to grab her phone, and I just panicked and that's when I grabbed the knife. I said don't call the cops I'm not ********* playing with you, I said put down the phone. And she was just started kinda' like staring at me, she made eye contact, and she was just staring at me," said Lavergne.

It was at that point Mickey maced Lavergne, so he began stabbing her. She slumped over, and that's when he starting driving to a rural area to dispose of her body. The whole time, he was thinking she was dead.

"She popped up and stabbed me dead in the chest. I don't know if I was more freaked out that she stabbed me, or the fact that she was still alive. I hollered, and I shot, I shot one time, you know one time with the gun. I jumped out of the truck and I was hollering, and I just stood out there and stuff, and I was shaking and stuff, and I started throwing up," said Lavergne.

Lavergne continues, saying how unreal the entire situation was. After returning home to try to clean up everything, he says he walked in, and out of the house, Mickey still in the truck.

"That's when I put the gun to my head, and I said I'll just **** kill myself right now. And I was just thinking, I got my son that's about to be born, I got a daughter hopefully I'll see in the future and stuff, and what not, I can't do it. And that was it the whole time, I wasn't even thinking about her, I wasn't thinking about family, I wasn't thinking about no one but myself," said Lavergne

A confessed killer, and admittedly selfish.

When he got to the cemetery in Evangeline Parish, he was too injured to dig a grave. He left her and would come back later, after he received treatment.

Lavergne called a friend in New Orleans, telling him he was stabbed and he needed to get out of town for a few days. Before he left though, he circled back through Lafayette to make sure police weren't alerted to the crime. He didn't see any officers on St. Landry, so he proceeded to New Orleans, dropping the bike in Whiskey Bay on the way.

His friend insisted he go to the hospital, so Lavergne told them a story of a real robbery he was the victim of in Baton Rouge several years before. He stayed overnight, and he went back on Sunday to bury Mickey.

As for the gun, Lavergne says it went missing from his truck the night he stayed in the hospital. He asked his friend about it. His friend denied knowing anything, so Lavergne warned him the gun was "hot". The friend would later tell Lavergne the gun was in the Mississppi River. The knife was thrown into a dumpster at his fiancé's father's home, and Mickey's book bag was burned in a trash pile.

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1 year ago

Newly released documents show how Lavergne connected to Lisa Pate's murder

Newly released evidence surrounding the conviction of Brandon Scott Lavergne answers some questions of how he was charged with the murder of Lisa Pate nearly 13 years later. We want to warn you, some of the content may be disturbing.

According to inmate testimony, Lavergne told several fellow inmates about the murder, and rape of a woman. Only identifying her at times as Lisa. The most notable testimony, from one inmate known in court documents as KK. Admitting that the disturbing nature of Lavergne's story is why he decided to reach out to police.

KK was Lavergne's cellmate, saying they were sharing their criminal stories, when the conversation took an interesting turn. KK says he made a facetious remark degrading women, at that point Lavergne began to describe how he raped a woman. He says Lavergne said he was looking for sex. According to KK's interview, the sex began as consenual and escalated quickly and violently. Lavergne admitting to abusing her physically, and mentally, KK remembering all the while, Lavergne seemed excited to be reliving the event in his mind. But the part that made KK contact police, was when Lavergne told him after he dumped the woman's body, Lavergne was nervous she wasn't "really dead" and went back to check.

This original interview led police to make Lavergne the prime suspect in the Pate case and present it to a Grand Jury in 2008. He wasn't indicted then, but after the Lafayette Police Department started looking at Lavergne for the Shunick case, another inmate came forward. The inmate testified Lavergne hated women, saying if he had a problem he would "choke them, kill 'em and dump them." The inmate says Lavergne claimed he had done those things to four or five women, and some would never be found because "the gators would be eating them."

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1 year ago

Brandon Lavergne's letters to ex-wife reveal criminal, violent past

Journal entries and letters released as part of the evidence in the case against convicted killer Brandon Scott Lavergne, illustrate a picture of his violent and criminal past. The convicted killer of Mickey Shunick and Lisa Pate writes about his self-hatred and loneliness. Again, we warn you some of the content may be disturbing.

Lavergne admits in a letter written to his, now, ex-wife that from the age of 12 he was a criminal. He admits to robbing houses, beating people, selling drugs and even murder. He labeled himself as "a horrible person", saying he did it all because he hated himself.

Lavergne wrote in the journal while in jail for a sex offense he committed in 1999. He writes several times about his longing for his life to end, saying "I long for deaths release." He goes on to talk about the complete alienation he feels while serving time. Lavergne describes how he is no longer a man, a father or a son, but "in the eyes of society I'm a monster." He asks himself "was it worth it"? He also wrote to his wife about how sorry he was for the sex offense he was serving time for. He wrote "a day doesn't go by that I don't say why. I feel sorry for what I done to her and the pain I put her through."

All of the letters to Lavergne's ex-wife start with "I love you's" but turn darker, writing that he never hit her without warning her to stop. He writes "I warned you what I would do if you didn't stop." During that same stay in jail, the last letter to his wife entered into evidence talks about the Lisa Pate murder. He writes that there was a problem, saying the cops were back and they told him they're about to charge him with murder. Lavergne says "I don't know if this is another bluff or the real deal."

Lavergne is serving two consecutive life sentences at Angola for the murders of Mickey Shunick and Lisa Pate.

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1 year ago

Some of Brandon Lavergne's journal cited as evidence

While Lavergne served 8 years for a sex crime he wrote a journal, a journal that has is now released as part of evidence found in his Lawtell home during the Shunick investigation. We want to warn you some of the content may be disturbing.
Looking through the pages of Lavergne's handwritten story, a clearer picture emerges on how he views himself. Entry upon entry reveals some of Lavergne's most intimate thoughts, from lost love to an abusive childhood.

Out of the more than 30 pages logged as evidence in the Shunick case, one particular entry is cited. That entry, titled "Life Sentance", documents his fear of his own anger and how it began at a young age. In the entry he recalls his father beating his mother, his mother crying, his dad screaming and "the 10 kinds of hell raging all his life." He describes how his father began hitting him and how he began thinking this was a normal part of life. That's when he says his "life sentence began: A life of rage and anger and uncontrolable tempers." He cites this abuse as the reason he's experienced a life with "no respect for women and goes on to say he even scares himself." He ends this journal entry by saying he's caused "a broken marriage created by my own hand."

Lavergne's journal was found during the search of his Lawtell home in July. Another entry says "you know I'd like to believe we could reconcile the past, but that is a hopeless dream."

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1 year ago

Driver's license of missing Tex. woman found

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - A search of Brandon Scott Lavergne's home in the investigation of Mickey Shunick's death uncovered the driver's license of a Texas woman whose whereabouts remain unknown. That's according to a review of a case file released Monday.

The case file documents what Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft characterized Monday as "the biggest and most complicated and involved investigation that I am aware of in the history of the Police Department."

Lavergne is serving a life sentence after pleading guilty in August to two counts of first-degree murder in the slayings of Shunick, 21, and Lisa Pate, 35.

Lavergne, 33, admitted to killing Shunick after abducting the University of Louisiana at Lafayette student on May 19.

Pate's remains were discovered in rural Acadia Parish in 1999.

The Advocate reports detectives found the wallet and driver's license of Madeline Aumiller in a search of Lavergne's home on July 5.

Detectives tracked down the woman's brother, who said that she had been living with him but that he had asked her to move out "due to too many problems he could not deal with," according to the case file.

The brother said he had continued to put money in his sister's bank account but that she had not accessed the account since at least April, according to the case file.

Prosecutor Roger Hamilton, who was involved in the Shunick investigation, said Monday that information about the driver's license was forwarded to other jurisdictions outside of Louisiana but that he has heard nothing about whether the woman has been located or whether Lavergne was connected to her in any way.

Hamilton did confirm that Lavergne is not considered a suspect in any local disappearances or unsolved crimes.

"We didn't find anything else to suggest any other crimes committed in the Acadiana area," he said.

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1 year ago

New details on evidence LPD was presenting in Mickey Shunick case

Newly released court documents paint a clearer picture of the evidence police say they had against Brandon Scott Lavergne involving the murder of Mickey Shunick. All of the following information comes from documents filed into court by the Lafayette Police Department.

On May 26, 2012, two fishermen found Mickey's damaged bicycle under the Whiskey Bay I-10 Bridge. They transported it to their residence in Sunset to use as scrap metal, but called police the next morning when they realized it could be Mickey's. Lafayette Police processed the scene and noticed the handgrips had been removed, but they were located on the shoreline where the bike was found. They were also able to unlock the padlock on the bike using Mickey's combination.

According to an incident report taken on May 31, 2012, Lafayette Police were tipped off by Lavergne's fiance's family. We're choosing not to identify those involved at this time. The tipster told police that his wife's sister was dating Lavergne. He also revealed Lavergne owned a white Z71 truck and had been injured in a stabbing in New Orleans on May 19, 2012. (Police released the surveillance pictures on May 24, 2012.) The caller told police Lavergne wasn't using his truck since the incident, had thrown a bloody shirt in the dumpster behind his father-in-law's home, and the dumpster had already been emptied. He also told police his father-in-law spoke to police several days earlier, on May 28th.

On June 4, 2012, a worker at Don's Wholesale called police regarding Lavergne's attempt to purchase a truck. She told police Lavergne indicated his truck was stolen in Houston, TX. She also said Lavergne's arm was bandaged and it "freaked her out". The employee also said Lavergne had a cut on his finger and that he is a registered sex offender from Church Point. Another employee indicated Lavergne said he cut his finger while fishing.

On June 13, 2012, the tipster called back again. He advised Lavergne's truck now had a paper plate from Don's Wholesale which was odd. The information was handed over to the Task Force on June 14, 2012. This same day, police ran a history of insurance claims for Lavergne and found out Lavergne reported his truck stolen from his sister's home in Conroe, TX. The vehicle was found hours later in San Jacinto County, TX. Lavergne was paid in full by State Farm for the truck. The fire marshal noted that tires had been placed inside and outside of the passenger side of the truck. The passenger side doors were left open in an effort to accelerate the fire on the inside of the truck.

This same day, police obtained statements from employees at Don's Wholesale. One worker said Lavergne flirted with her, telling her that her pants fit well. He told another worker his truck was stolen, and he tried to give them an altered license when purchasing the truck. She said she noticed he tried to hide the words sex offender from his license, so she made a copy of the license to give to police. The employee also noticed his arm was bandaged to his elbow and there were cuts on the back of his triceps. A third employee told police Lavergne became nervous when she began to talk about the Shunick case. She said he seemed to be in a rush after he noticed the news had new information about the case.

On June 18, 2012, a meeting was set up with the family of Lavergne's fiance. They talked for 35 minutes.

On June 20, 2012, cell phone records of Lavergne's were analyzed. Police say Lavergne was actively attempting to contact sexual escort services from May 18th through the early morning hours of May 19th. He made approximately 24 calls to escort services.

On June 21, 2012, the Lafayette Police department met with employees at John R. Young Chevy in Eunice. They indicated that Lavergne wanted a quote to replace the entire leather interior of his truck. However, Lavergne never called back to set up an appointment. Cell phone records indicate Lavergne called another upholstery shop after speaking to employees at Young Chevy.

On June 22, 2012, police obtained medical records from Opelousas General Hospital. Records indicate he was treated at the hospital for a laceration to his right pinky finger. The records documented that blood work was done on May 23rd for a scheduled surgery on May 25th, however the surgery was not done because of Lavergne having poison ivy. Records indicated he had surgery on May 29th to repair a tendon in his finger.

On June 27, 2012, police obtained a search warrant for Lavergne's dental records in Opelousas. Doctors told police Lavergne was getting routine dental work on his braces. Police also obtained Lavergne's records from Ochsner Medical Center. Those records indicate Lavergne was driven to the hospital in his friend's truck at 3:51 p.m. Lavergne had multiple stab wounds on his body, with the most severe being on his neck and right shoulder. Records show he arrived with blood saturated band-aids covering wounds that were no longer bleeding. Lavergne was released from the hospital the following day on May 20th; it was later discovered Lavergne took pictures of himself in the hospital with his cell phone.

Also today, investigators met with Lavergne's fiance's father who relayed a statement Lavergne made to him after exchanging his truck for an identical one: "I didn't know human blood smelt so bad". The father said Lavergne told them he was stabbed in New Orleans while trying to pump gas.

On June 29, 2012, police obtained a search warrant for Lavergne's home on Elaine Lane in Church Point. Police learned that Lavergne had two active traffic warrants. A suitcase was found at the home, belonging to that of "Susan Flesch"; the suitcase was later found to be one that was donated to him following a previous house fire he had. Police also found two wallets, one was of a person who died of natural causes. The other wallet belonged to his sister who had lived with him for a time.

Today, they also met with employees at Jim Tatman's Mobile Homes in Carencro. They told police Lavergne purchased a mobile home from them; records they had showed Lavergne altered his license to conceal the fact he was a sex offender.

On July 5, 2012, surveillance equipment was installed on Lavergne's truck in Boothville, La., so police could track him when he came from offshore. He was followed and arrested on I-10 at mile marker 104 for modifying his driver's license. When questioned about his whereabouts on May 19th, Lavergne initially said he didn't recall what he did that day. Police then advised him they knew of his stay at the New Orleans hospital, to which Lavergne replied "oh yeah". They started questioning him about the Mickey Shunick case, and he stated he heard of the case; police say he had Mickey's mother's number on an envelope in his truck and had a search history on the case on his I-phone. He was further questioned about the case, and then he asked for an attorney.

Police also interview Lavergne's sister today. She said that Lavergne told her that his truck was involved in a shooting and he needed to get rid of it. She said she followed him around San Jacinto County until he found a spot he could burn the truck. His sister said a short time later she saw a large flame and Lavergne running towards her vehicle. She also said he coached her on what to tell police, basically that he was asleep inside the home the entire evening. Lavergne's sister said he told her he hurt himself at work, but he changed his story when she saw the stab wounds. He then told her he was stabbed in New Orleans by a white male who had asked him for money. She also informed a police she didn't have contact with Lavergne for a while because he tried to have sex with her in 1999 when she was seven months pregnant. She told police she didn't know anything about the missing girl until her brother was arrested. She also agreed to go along with his plan because he agreed to forgive her for a $300 debt she owed him. Lavergne's nephew also spoke to police. He told them he was asked to retrieve Lavergne's cell phone from the truck, and he noticed someone scratched the seat - about 12 scratch marks.

On July 5, 2012, police also spoke with the friend who drove Lavergne to the hospital in New Orleans. Lavergne spoke with his friend on his cell phone from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on May 20th. The friend told police Lavergne told him he was stabbed by two friends in Lafayette, but he drove to New Orleans so they wouldn't get in trouble for the incident. The friend also noticed a significant amount of blood on the center console of his Z71. He noted Lavergne was in a clean shirt and had band aids covering his stab wounds.

On July 9, 2012, a warrant was served at Lavergne's doctor's office in Opelousas. This was where Lavergne was treated for "spotty" poison ivy and a laceration on his finger. Employees there say Lavergne indicated he was "jumped" by three guys on Bourbon Street. Another nurse said Lavergne told her he was attacked at a gas station by a thin, 6-foot tall black male near the Super Dome.

On July 11, 2012, detectives reviewed items taken from Lavergne's truck. Included in those items was a plain white envelope with Mickey's mother's cell phone number. The only prints on the envelope were that of Lavergne's.

On July 12, 2012, police reviewed Lavergne's text messages and say he offered a DMV official $500 to get him a driver's license without "sex offender" written on it.

Cell phones records indicate support the police department's claims that he was in Lafayette the morning Mickey went missing, then went back to his home that same morning. He drove to New Orleans the afternoon of 5/19/12 and drove back to his fiance's home in Acadia Parish on 5/20/12.

1 year ago

All documents in the case against Brandon Scott Lavergne released

Team coverage from KATC's Erin Steuber & Jim Hummel on new documents released regarding the Mickey Shunick murder case. They've spent the day sifting through hundreds of documents - finding out who initially tipped off police to Lavergne (Lavergne's fiance's family) and how Lavergne got from his burned truck back to his sister's house in Texas. Of course, as soon as we finish writing, it will all be posted on katc.com. Stay tuned.

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1 year ago

ATTACHED: Brandon Lavergne's Psychological Evaluation

Only one piece of evidence from Brandon Scott Lavergne's trial has been entered into evidence because it was the only evidence required when he pled guilty to murdering Mickey Shunick and Lisa Pate in August. A psychological evaluation was required before a plea deal would be accepted by prosecutors.

The evaluation was done on August 8, 2012 and outlines a history of depression, physical abuse, and molestation. The report was written by Dr. Larry J. Benoit, a clinical psychologist. In the report, he says Lavergne completed the 10th grade and earned his GED; his IQ was classified as being "high average". He was only married one year, has one child, and has been divorced for 12 years. The report says he received treatment for anger and depression when he was 15 and had a 30-day inpatient stay at the adolescent unit of Central State Hospital in 1995. Lavergne reported he occasionally drank alcohol, but he was prone to binge drinking when he did drink.

Lavergne's criminal record includes a sexual battery conviction in 2000; he was arrested and charged in the death of Lisa Pate, but he was not indicted. Lavergne also admits to a history of aggressive behavior, saying his family history included substance abuse and psychiatric treatment. The report does indicate Lavergne thought of suicide as recently as May of 2012 and had memory lapses during periods of extreme emotion. The report also indicated Lavergne had a history of physical childhood abuse and was molested by a babysitter when he was 3 or 4.

During the interview process with the psychologist, the doctor notes Lavergne was cooperative, coherent, and mildly depressed. It was noted that Lavergne became tearful when discussing events leading up to his arrest. The doctor profiled Lavergne as being extroverted, over active, impulsive, and self-indulgent. Lavergne was said to completely understand the process and of the charges he was facing. He allegedly described his own behavior and others' behavior in great detail, which was consistent with the information already known.

We've attached a copy of the report to this article, click HERE.

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2 years ago

UL football team to honor Mickey Shunick

The University of Louisiana Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns football team will honor Mickey Shunick during their 2012 season. Team members will wear a decal on their helmets portraying a girl on her bicycle with the name "Mickey" below. A football staff member proposed the idea, and head coach Mark Hudspeth approved.

Shunick was a UL student at the time of her death. She was kidnapped while riding her bicycle in Lafayette, and was then killed in the early morning hours of May 19. Brandon Scott Lavergne plead guilty August 17 to Shunick's murder, and the murder of Lisa Ann Pate in 1999. He is currently serving a life sentence without the possibilty of parole at Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola.

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2 years ago

Coroner's Office: Shunick's Body Released to Family

Mickey Shunick's body has been turned over to her family. According to officials at the Lafayette Parish Coroner's Office, Shunick's family is making funeral arrangements. However, arrangement information will not be released to the public.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date for Michaela "Mickey" Shunick. Details will be released to the public as they are finalized.

Personal condolences may now be sent to the Shunick family online at www.delhommefuneralhome.com.

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2 years ago

Mickey's Body Could be Released to Family Today

The body of Mickey Shunick may be released to her family as soon as today. According to Keith Talamo of the Lafayette Parish Coroner's Office, the body will be released once a funeral home has been selected to take the body. Talamo says he has not heard from a funeral home or the family with regards to releasing Mickey's body.

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2 years ago

Shunick Volunteers Looking to Move Forward After Guilty Plea

As Brandon Scott Lavergne was taken away to prison, those who helped with the volunteer search effort for Mickey Shunick have already started to move forward.

Volunteers have already begun the process of moving out of the current search center. Many of the pictures and butterflies on the walls have been placed in boxes; and a "For Lease" sign has been placed in the window.

The full move out should be completed Saturday.

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2 years ago

Courtroom Sketches provided by Adrian Fulton

Adrian Fulton of Adrian's Fine Art Gallery LLC provided KATC with these courtroom sketches from today's hearing. Courtesy required for re-broadcasted images: Adrian Fulton/KATC TV3

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2 years ago

Mickey Shunick's Family Proud Mickey Fought Back

Family and friends of Mickey Shunick were there in court today, hearing every detail in the case. The family has been meeting with prosecutors, but they didn't know every detail.
Mickey's parents say, after hearing what happened that night, they're proud their daughter did everything she could to stay alive.

"We'll miss her for the rest of our lives," said Nancy Shunick, Mickey's mother.

Tom and Nancy Shunick describe their daughter as a tough girl, who was full of life. They weren't surprised to hear she fought back and tried to stay alive.

"She didn't like being touched, not even by us. We knew she wouldn't put up with that. She'd do anything to get out of that situation," said Tom Shunick, Mickey's father.

This was the first time Tom and Nancy saw Brandon Scott Lavergne in person. The Shunick family sat in the first three rows in the courtroom. Nancy didn't take her eyes off the man who killed her daughter. When Assistant District Attorney Keith Stutes gave details on how Mickey was killed, there were gasps and sobs.

"The first thing that came to my mind is that it took a car, a knife, and a gun to put down a 5 foot girl. Maybe he'll wake up screaming every night, seeing her little hand plunging a knife into his chest," said Nancy.

Tom says he's satisfied with the plea deal, in which Lavergne will serve life in prison with hard labor. He says he didn't want to wait years for a trial.

"The DA met with us a week ago. Before I could say a word when he brought it to the table, Nancy said, 'I want the body found,'" said Tom.

"From the beginning, it's been find Mickey, bring Mickey home," said Nancy.

Many volunteers who worked tirelessly to bring Mickey home, sat with the Shunick family in the courtroom.Mickey's friend Josh Coen says he's glad to see that justice is being served.

"I'm just so proud to have known her and to be a part of something that I'll never forget for the rest of my life," said Coen.

"I don't think there'll ever be closure, but I feel relieved after today," said Tom.

The Shunick family says the support and love from the community has been overwhelming. They're thankful for everyone who worked hard to bring Mickey home. They say, it's that support that's helped them get through this.

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2 years ago

Brandon Lavernge Also Pleads Guilty in Lisa Pate's Murder

Along with confessing to the murder of Mickey Shunick, Brandon Scott Lavergne pleaded guilty in the 1999 murder of Lisa Pate. The following are details from the court document on how Lavergne killed Pate.

Pate and Lavergne met in Lafayette and met a second time at a hotel. During that second meeting he convinced her to come with him outside of the city. They spent a few days together, but after a while Pate wanted to return to Lafayette to see her children.

Lavergne refused to let her leave. While he was sleeping, Pate tried to take his keys and wallet. He woke up before Pate could escape and he attacked her. He beat her until she was bloodied in the face, and then placed a plastic bag over her head and choked her.

Former inmates with Lavergne said he confessed to killing a woman using a plastic bag.

Pate died from the attack. Lavergne then moved her body to Acadia Parish where he placed it under a pile of wood. That location was behind the house of a former acquaintance to deflect suspicion off of him.

Pate's body was found on September 21, 1999, along with remnants of that plastic bag. She also had fractures to her skull.

Family members of Pate were at the guilty plea hearing, but chose not to speak with the media.

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2 years ago

Security Beefed Up For Lavergne Hearing

With such a high-profile case the Lafayette Sheriff's Department laid out a strict security detail for Brandon Lavergne's hearing.

"We recognize the high risk and the community out pouring for justice," said Captain Kip Judice of the Lafayette Sheriff's Office.

Deputies were not taking chances Friday as Brandon Scott Lavergne appeared in court. In all 25 more deputies were added to the security detail already in place at the Lafayette Parish Courthouse.

"That included the personnel that did the transport move from the correctional facility to the courthouse."

This isn't the first time security was beefed up at the Parish Courthouse before a high profile case.

"Derek Todd Lee, Ernest Randal Comeaux. When we have a higher risk move, we implement higher risk security plans," said Judice.

Typically inmates are walked across the street to the courthouse but because of the attention in this case, Lavergne was transported by car but only after the roads were completely blocked off.

"You want as few moving parts as possible when you have that type of transport. Our job is not only to get him to court, but to get him to court safely."

As he left the courthouse Lavergne didn't answer any of our questions.

The fourth floor of the Parish Courthouse was also under strict orders. Judge Herman Clause put a restrictive protective order in effect. No one was allowed in or out of the courtroom once the hearing got underway.

Chris Welty
cwelty@katctv.com

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2 years ago

Coroner releases report on Mickey Shunick

A report released by the Coroner of Lafayette Parish confirms that Mickey Shunick died from a gunshot wound to the head. Contributing factors to the cause of death were multiple stab wounds. The official cause of death has been ruled a homicide, says Keith Talamo, of Lafayette Parish. She was found at the intersection of LA 10 & LA 13 in Evangeline Parish.


Click here to read the report

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2 years ago

Find Mickey Shunick Now and Charlene Shunick Post Statements on Facebook

People close to Mickey Shunick have taken to Facebook to express their emotions following revelations in court Friday that Shunick fought back against Brandon Scott Lavergne after being abducted.

From Find Mickey Shunick Now!: "Mickey Shunick is a hero and will always be remembered as a hero."

From Charlene Shunick, Mickey's sister: "Mickey, you did not go quietly into the night."

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2 years ago

Lavergne Transported to Angola

Only hours after pleading guilty to the murders of Lisa Pate and Mickey Shunick, Brandon Scott Lavergne is in the Louisiana State Penitentiary. Officials in the Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office confirmed deputies transported Lavergne to Angola shortly after this morning's hearing. According to the Louisiana Automated Victims' Notification System, Lavergne was released into the state's custody at 1:27 P. M.

It has not yet been determined if he will be placed in solitary confinement or with the general population.
That decision is based upon several factors including his demeanor upon arrival.

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2 years ago

Summary of Lavergne's "Statement in Support of Plea"

On August 7, 2012, Brandon Scott Lavergne entered into an agreement with prosecutors to plead guilty to murdering Lisa Pate and Mickey Shunick in exchange for a life sentence in prison.

Details offered by prosecutors on the murder of Lisa Pate:

Prosecutors say in June of 1999, Lavergne met Lisa in Lafayette. Shortly after their first meeting, he met her again in a Lafayette hotel where he persuaded her to go to a location outside of Lafayette.

After a few days, Lisa said she wanted to go home to her family, but Lavergne would not let her. She didn't have any money or means to get home and was completely dependent on him.

One day, Lisa tried to secretly retrieve Lavergne's wallet and keys, but he caught her. Lavergne then tackled her, beat her on her face, bloodied her face and nose, and then choked Lisa. Lisa died shortly after. Inmates who were in prison with Lavergne were prepared to testify to his confession to them; they say he told them he choked Lisa with a plastic bag on her head.

Lavergne then moved Lisa's body to a former acquaintance's home in Acadia Parish and placed the body under some boards. The intention was to frame the former acquaintance that was killed in an automobile accident on June 16, 1999. Remnants of plastic were found around Lisa's skull, consistent with the inmates' statement. Bones on the skull were fractured, also consistent with testimony the inmates were prepared to give.


Details offered by prosecutors on the murder of Mickey Shunick:

Prosecutors say Mickey left her friend's home around 1:46 a.m. She was observed on surveillance cameras on St. Landry Street, just past University Avenue at 1:48 a.m. Shortly before 1:48 a.m., Lavergne was seen in his white Chevrolet Z71 pickup truck south on University Avenue near St. Landry Street. After Mickey crossed University Avenue, Lavergne suddenly moved his truck from the inside lane, into the outside lane, making a quick turn onto St. Landry behind Mickey. Lavergne had earlier been driving around Lafayette, using his cell phone to make several calls to escort services.

Lavergne hit Mickey's bike with his truck on St. Landry Street, midway between Dean Street and Coliseum Road. Mickey was thrown from her bike. Lavergne was armed with a knife and a semi-automatic handgun and insisted Mickey get in his truck. Mickey got in the truck, and her bike was placed in the bed of Lavergne's truck.

As he drove away, Mickey grabbed her cell phone to call for help, but Lavergne threatened her if she continued to try and get help. Mickey then sprayed Lavergne with mace, but he was able to wrestle it from her. She then grabbed his knife, stabbing him several times in what would be later called life-threatening wounds. Lavergne tried to grab the knife, cutting tendons in his hand and/or fingers. Lavergne retrieved the knife, stabbing Mickey at least four times, and she fell over. Lavergne felt for a pulse, but he felt nothing.

Lavergne then drove about 30 minutes away to a secluded area in a sugar cane field in North Acadia Parish. His intention was to dump the body and escape. However, suddenly Mickey jumped up with Lavergne's knife, and stabbed him again in the chest. Lavergne pulled out his gun and shot Mickey in the head, killing her instantly. Because of his injuries, he could not leave her body, so he drove to his Church Point home with Mickey still in the passenger seat.

Lavergne nursed his wounds, tried to clean out his truck, and destroyed the clothes he was wearing. He also disposed of the empty bullet casing. Lavergne then drove to the old cemetery in Evangeline Parish to bury the body, but he couldn't dig because of his injuries. He left her body in a tree line, covering it with branches and debris.

Lavergne returned home to destroy evidence and tend to his wounds. Around 8:00 a.m., he called an out-of-town friend to arrange a meeting with him to distance himself from the investigation. He left for his friend's New Orleans area home around 11:00 a.m. on May 19, 2012. On the way, he stopped at the Whiskey Bay exit and threw the bike into the water. Lavergne then met with his friend and got his injuries treated at a New Orleans hospital. He also disposed of his gun and threw his knife into a dumpster. Lavergne returned from New Orleans on May 20, 2012.
The same day, Lavergne went to the old cemetery in Evangeline Parish and buried Mickey's body. He then went back to his Church Point home and burned other items of evidence including Mickey's book bag. He also disposed of her I-pod.

On May 24, 2012, police released photos of Lavergne's truck on University Avenue the night Mickey went missing. Around May 30, 2012, Lavergne destroyed his truck by setting it on fire and filed a false insurance claim on it. He then bought an almost identical Z71 to lessen suspicion on himself.

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2 years ago

Brandon Scott Lavergne Pleads Guilty to Murder; Court Documents Explain Events

Brandon Scott Lavergne pleads guilty to murdering Lisa Pate and Mickey Shunick in exchange for life in prison. Lavergne was required to show police where Mickey Shunick's body was buried and physically recreate the actions on May 19. Lavergne signed of statements the prosecution presented to the court. Those statements say Lavergne followed Shunick down St. Landry Street in his truck. He intentionally hit her bike and persuaded her into his vehicle. She was able to mace him, grab his knife, and stab him several times, giving him what were described as "life-threatening cuts." He grabbed the knife back and stabbed Shunick four times until she fell over. At this point, Lavergne thought she was dead. However, when Lavergne brought Shunick to a seclude cane field in Acadia Parish, she jumped up and regained control of knife. Shunick stabbed him in the chest. That's when Lavergne grabbed a semi-automatic handgun and shot Shunick in the head, killing her instantly.

We will have more details coming up on katc.com and on Acadiana's NewsChannel at 5:00.

READ the "Statement in Support of Plea" here that was filed in the courthouse. It spells out the case and the evidence leading up to the plea.

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2 years ago

P.I. in Lowitzer case says it's "just too coincidential"

As the Shunick, and Pate cases, get underway in Lafayette, Agencies in Texas and Louisiana are looking into the possibility Lavergne's arrest could lead to answers in other cases. The private investigator in the case of missing Texas teen, believes just that.
Alexxandria "Ali" Lowitzer was last seen April 26, 2010, at the time she was 16. Her mother, Jo Ann, spoke to Ali right before she got on the school bus. She told her mother after she got off, she was just going to pick up a paycheck from work, before walking home. Surveillance video shows her getting off the bus about 2:45 that afternoon. But what happened after that remains a mystery.
Ali has been missing for nearly two years, and although there is no concrete evidence linking Brandon Scott Lavergne to her daughter's disappearance, Jo Ann Lowitzer remains hopeful.
"I'm just doing what I hope every parent out there would do for their own child. Never giving up hope for them returning home one day," said Lowitzer.
Since Lavergne's arrest., she has been contacted by law enforcement, requesting she not do any more interviews because of new developments in her daughter's case.
We also spoke to the Lowitzer family's private investigator, who believes there are striking similarities between the Mickey Shunick case, and Ali's. Specficially, two tips involving a white truck the day Ali went missing
"He pulled up behind her as she walked on the side of the road, pulled up close, talking to her, trying to coax her into the truck," said PI Mac Sanford.
Sanford says one of the callers thought the incident was so strange, they turned around. But by time they arrived, there was no sign of her, or the truck. He says the other caller remembered a partial plate, one that started with an "x" and several zero's.
"I got a list of every vehicle that he owned. And it turned out that at the time of Alis disappearance, he owned a white, 2005 GMC, extended cab truck, with Louisiana plates that had an "X" and several 0's in it," said Sanford. "So at that point, I thought good Lord this is just too coincidental."
Now, he's looking into whether Lavergne was in the area at the time. You'll recall Lavergne's sister lives 18 miles away in Conroe, TX.
"All the timelines seem to fit, you know, it's widely known that Lavergne spent plenty of time in Texas, going back and forth, and now we're trying to determine the link," said Sanford.
The Harris County Sheriff's Department says they are continuing to pursue all leads in Ali's case. The detective directly working on the case was unavailable for comment.

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2 years ago

Texas mother hopes Lavergne's arrest leads to information in her daughter's case

A mother whose daughter has been missing from Harris County, TX, for more than two years, hopes Brandon Scott Lavergne's arrest will lead to more information about her daughter's case.
Her daughtet, Alexandria "Ali" Lowitzer, was last seen April 26, 2010. At the time she was 16. Her mother, Jo Ann, spoke to Ali right before she got on the school bus. She told her mother she was just going to pick up a paycheck from work before walking home from the bus. Her work was only a few minutes from her house, but she never arrived.
Video surveillance shows her exiting the bus at around 2:45 that afternoon. But what happened after that remains a mystery for Ali's family. She's not sure Lavergne is involved, but she feels there are several similarities between her daughter's case and Mickey Shunick's. That includes the first tips they received in their daughter's case. The family was told a girl matching Ali's description was seen talking to a man in a white truck around the time Ali went missing.
As you recall Lavergne's sister lives in Montgomery County,TX, just north of Harris County. This is the same county Lavergne reported his truck stolen. Around the time Ali went missing, Lavergne was already out of jail.
KATC's Erin Steuber has been in contact with Ali's family for the last week. She was interested in giving us an interview but now, she has been advised by law enforcement not to talk to the media because of an ongoing investigation in her daughter's case. Ali's mother says "My goal is to find my daughter. I will never give up until I do."

Want to read more about Ali's story? Click here.

Hope for Ali on Facebook.

The private investigator working the case says there are several reasons he's looking into the possibility that Lavergne may be involved in the case. One because witnesses saw a girl matching Ali's description talking to a man in a white truck; Lavergne was driving a white 2005 GMC extended cab at the time. In addition, the license plate the witness took down, was also similar to Lavergne's . The witness remembered seeing a plate that began with a X, and it contained several zeros. All this information has been passed along to the Harris County Sheriff's Office.

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2 years ago

Hearing Set For Brandon Lavergne's Murder Trial

A hearing has been set for Friday for Brandon Scott Lavergne's murder trial. The request for an evidentiary hearing was asked for by Assistant District Attorney Keith Stutes this morning; Judge Herman Clause signed off on the request. The hearing is set for 10:00 a.m.
Lavergne was indicted July 18 by a Lafayette grand jury for the first-degree murder of Shunick and Pate. Lavergne has been indicted in the deaths of Mickey Shunick and Lisa Pate.

For Page One of the Evidence Document, click here

For Page Two of the Evidence Document, click here

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2 years ago

New documents give insight into what happened to Lavergne's truck

Newly released documents out of Texas paint a sharper picture of what happened to Brandon Scott Lavergne's truck in May. After several public records requests we've obtained copies of reports from Montgomery County, Texas, where Lavergne said his truck was stolen and from San Jacinto County, where deputies found his burned Silverado.
As you recall, Lavergne is being held at Lafayette Parish Correctional Center in connection with the 1999 murder of Lisa Pate and the murder of Mickey Shunick.
Lavergne claims his truck, a white Chevy Silverado, was last seen parked in front of his sister's house in Conroe, TX. He says, on May 30th, right before going to bed around 10, it was still there.
In the report filed on May 31st, Lavergne claims when he went to his truck at 6:30 that morning to get his shaving kit, the truck was gone. Also in the truck, his red tool box. The estimated value of the tool box and truck was $34,000.
The same morning Lavergne filed that theft report, his truck was found burned in San Jacinto County, specifically Shepherd, TX. Sheriff's officers in San Jacinto County say they got the call about the burned truck around 4:00 that morning.
It is 35 miles from Conroe to Shepherd, TX where the truck was found. It takes about 50 minutes to drive that distance. Prosecutors have said in court filings they believe Lavergne intentionally set his 2011 Silverado on fire, then purchased a new one in Lafayette on June 4. If this was is the case, police are still not indicating how they believe Lavergne got from Shepherd to Conroe to report the vehicle missing.

Link to San Jacinto Report

Link to page one of Montgomery Report

Link to page two of Montgomery Report

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2 years ago

Mickey Shunick changed Acadiana

Mickey Shunick headquarters is still open, but they are taking a new direction after the news that the body found in Evangeline Parish is Mickey. Her story brought the community together and impacted even those who never knew her. KATC's Erin Steuber met with one couple who says Mickey's story changed their lives.
"It feels like family," said Tammy Charles who volunteered to help bring Mickey home. "It felt like losing a family member when we got the final word."
Charles and her husband, Brian, have been part of the effort to bring Mickey home since the beginning. They never met Mickey or her family, but because they have a daughter they knew they needed to step in to help.
"We just fell in love with Mickey like everybody else, just completely fell in love with Mickey, and she needed to come home," said Tammy.
Now they are taking what they learned and applying it in the case of missing Duson teen Keiosha Felix.
"We owe that to Mickey you know?" said Tammy. "God put us in that position for a reason and I think if we stop here, and how can we let what happened to Mickey just stop there. We didn't get the happy ending that we wanted."
At headquarters the group is trying to move forward, taking down the missing persons signs and replacing them with purple ribbons, flowers and fond memories.
"It is time for justice," said Shunick family spokesperson Margaret Bearb. "We don't want to see the $25,000 reward anymore. We don't want to see the tip line numbers, we don't want that, we just want her shiny face, justice for the family and for her, and everybody that's involved in this."
They are in the process of planning two memorials within the next two weeks, one for the family, the other for the public. Mickey Shunick's story has changed this community. She will forever be in the hearts and minds of people across Acadiana.
"Inspired by Mickey, and driven by faith," said Bearb. "And that's exactly what our new moto's gonna be and carry that for the rest of our lives."
The Shunick camp tells us they are hoping to have a date for the public memorial by the beginning of the week. We have also learned Shunick's father, Tom, is planning to release a statement soon about all of the developments leading up to this point. We will let you know as soon as hear. The Shunick camp has requested if you are still interested in donating any kind of flowers or gifts, you can drop them at headquarters.

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2 years ago

Mickey's family and friends trying to move forward

"She's our little fighter. We deserve justice and I truly feel that it will happen here in Lafayette," said Shunick spokesperson Margaret Bearb. "None of us have given up."
Just one day after getting the answer no one was hoping for, family and friends of Mickey Shunick are trying to move forward. For 83 days, volunteers worked tirelessly to bring her home. Now, they are focusing on their memories of Mickey, wanting to bring light and joy into headquarters to honor her memory.
Earlier on Friday they took down missing posters, replacing them with purple ribbons, flowers and fond memories. They are asking for the communities help one last time. Just as everyone helped make her face known , they're hoping to have help taking down posters plastered across Acadiana.
"We've decided to take the signs down that have all the numbers, numbers, and numbers, and numbers," said Bearb. "We've been seeing this for three months. We're so tired of writing them, so tired of copying them. Right now we just want to see her face, we just want to see that bright sunshine and smile."
The spokesperson for the Shunick family says headquarters will remain open for a while longer, because they're planning two memorials for Mickey. One private for family, the other for the public. The public one will be within the next two weeks.

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2 years ago

Shunick Family Releases Statement

Our world became a better place on May 21, 1990, when Mickey came into this world. She brightened the lives of everyone she touched, she deserved a long and happy life filled with love and laughter; but unfortunately today's news has proved otherwise.

Today, we begin our lives without Mickey. We have not just lost out daughter, and our children have not just lost their sister; but all of us have all lost a part of ourselves. Now, as we begin our healing process, we can only ask for a bit of privacy from the media and the public during this somber time.

We have been so touched by the thousands of strangers who have shown their support during this difficult journey. We can never begin to repay all of you for your time, generosity and unending support and love, and we know that Mickey would feel the same.

Also, we have to remember that we are not the only family that has been hurt by this tragedy. Please consider in your thoughts the other families that have unwillingly been made a part of this crisis.

As we close, let us remember to always be inspired by who Mickey was: her contagious smile, her love for all creatures, her devotion to family and friends, her passion for her students(for whom she served as a role model), and last but not least, the ray of sunshine she projects that will continue to make our would a little brighter.

We thank you for respecting our privacy in this difficult time by allowing us this opportunity to share these words with all of you today. Again, though we may now grieve for the loss of our daughter, let us also move forward by celebrating her life.

Click link to read full statement from volunteers: VolunteerPressRelease.pdf

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2 years ago

Former "Cellblock-Mate" of Brandon Scott Lavergne Speaks Out


A former "cellblock-mate" of Brandon Scott Lavergne is speaking out, saying he's not surprised Lavergne is charged first degree murder. Here's some background: in 1999, Lavergne was arrested in Evangeline Parish for aggravated oral sexual battery .He pled guilty to those charges in 2000. After serving eight years, he was released in 2008. While Lavergne was serving time on the sex charge, his block-mate says he got to know Lavergne.
The former block-mate of Brandon Scott Lavergne didn't want his name or face on camera. He met Lavergne while both served time at the Phelps Correctional Center in Dequincey. He says he's not surprised police believe Lavergne is connected to the Mickey Shunick and Lisa Pate cases.

"We were several beds apart, I knew what he was in there for. He was not incapable of doing this crime," he said.

The former inmate says he wasn't necessarily friends with Lavergne, but the two did talk to one another. While Lavergne was serving time, investigators questioned him on 3 unsolved murders.

"They came to question him for several hours about the murder of 2 or 3 women in the same Lafayette area," he said.

He doesn't remember the agency the investigators were with, but once they left, he says Lavergne was scared and told him the questions they asked him.

"I asked, 'Brandon, did you do this?' and instead of yes or no he came back and says, 'I'm not gonna tell that.' I thought to myself, 'If you didn't do it, say no.'"

Lavergne was later transferred to Avoyelles Correctional Center. After being there for a week, Lavergne wrote a letter to his former block-mate saying he was doing well.

"He said, by the way, all that about raping and murdering women, I didn't do it."

That was the last time he ever heard from Brandon Scott Lavergne.

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2 years ago

Dental records identify Mickey Shunick's remains

According to Lafayette Parish Coroner Chief Medicolegal Investigator Keith Talamo, dental records received today and sent to LSU FACES Laboratory identified the body found in Evangeline Parish as that of Mickey Shunick.

LSU FACES Dir. Mary Manhein told the coroner's office she will complete her examination and determine cause and manner of death in about two weeks and a report will be sent to Lafayette Coroner Dr. Kenneth Odinet., said Talamo. At that point, Shunick's body will be sent to the Lafayette coroner and the coroner's office will turn it over to a funeral home.

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2 years ago

Body positively identified as Mickey Shunick

From Lafayette Police:

Investigators have identified the body discovered in Evangeline Parish as that of Michaela "Mickey" Shunick. There will be no further comment on the Shunick investigation at this time.

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2 years ago

Justice for Mickey

"You know if we have indeed found Mickey the mission here is to support the Shunicks," said friend Jay Steiner.
It's been two days since the body believed to be Mickey Shunick's was found in Evangeline Parish. But still no word if it is indeed Mickey.
KATC checked in with headquarters to see how they are staying positive during this emotional time.
The mission is still to bring Mickey home, and to be there for the Shunick family, but now family and friends are preparing themselves for the possibility Mickey has been found. So what will their new campaign be? Justice for Mickey.
Those at headquarters say the news was shocking for everyone, but at the same time they have been preparing themselves that Mickey may not be brought home alive. Mickey Shunick headquarters will continue to be open during normal hours. The group says they want to be there for the community because so many have invested their time and love to the Shunicks.
"We're here for the Shunicks, but we're also here for the community,. We know that when a story gets like this it becomes more than a story, it becomes something that people are invested in," said Steiner. "So it's not just a loss for family and friends, it's a loss for the community."
But no matter what, they say with all they've learned, they'll continue to help others find their missing loved ones. As Steiner says "Keep calm and find everyone."

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2 years ago

History Behind Cemetery Where Police Believe Mickey Shunick Was Buried

Court documents have shown prosecutors believe Lavergne may have moved the bodies around to hamper the investigation. The remains Tuesday were found near a small cemetery on LA-10 near the intersection of LA-13 between Mamou and Oakdale. Police say they also found clothing and possibly jewelry. We revisited the area in Evangeline Parish where Mickey Shunick is believed to have been buried.

Robert Wilson drives on LA-10 every day on his way to and from work. He's noticed the small cemetery before, but says it's always been a mystery.

"My co-workers and I always talk about it and how we've wanted to go in and check it out," he said.

The cemetery isn't easily noticeable from the road. Trees surround the small unpaved road that leads to it.

"They definitely have to be from around here to know it's there," said Wilson.

We ran across a woman and her family. She cried hearing the news, but didn't want to go on camera. After hearing a body was found, she stopped by to make sure a loved one's grave wasn't disturbed. The Pine Clair cemetery was part of a church called "Our Little Flower of Jesus" in the 1940s. The name was later changed to Saint Theresa and was moved about 30 years ago. It's now a thrift store next to Saint Ann's in Mamou.
Any family who was part of the original congregation could bury family at the cemetery for free. The cemetery has been a place to bury loved ones for at least a hundred years. Some graves so old, they're unmarked.

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2 years ago

Body Believed to be Mickey Shunick Taken to LSU FACES Lab

Police believe the body found in Evangeline Parish Tuesday is that of Mickey Shunick. Today, Lafayette Coroner Keith Talamo confirmed that the body is a woman. Since the body was buried for so long they brought in a team to help.

"My office did identify the body. We decided since she was in advance stages of decomposition, we felt it was best to send her to Louisiana FACES Lab," Talamo said.

The FACES lab specializes in skeletal identification, 3-D Modeling, and also search and recovery. During the lab tests, the lab will be able to figure out almost everything that happened to the body.

"We have a body. We're working with law enforcement trying to confirm the identification," Director of LSU FACES Mary Manhein said.

The body will be returned to Lafayette in the next two weeks and full test results will be available in the next three or four. The identity of the body will be known much sooner.

"We'll know if it's Mickey or not with in the next 24 to 48 hours," Talamo said.

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2 years ago

Police not saying why Lavergne was out of jail

KATC found records showing suspect Brandon Lavergne was checked-out of jail for nearly nine hours. In those same nine hours, police uncovered a body they believe is Mickey Shunick. The person accused of killing her, 33-year-old Brandon Scott Lavergne. He was arrested last month, and charged with first-degree in the death of Shunick and the 1999 death of Lisa Marie Pate. He's pleaded not guilty to both charges and remains in Lafayette's Parish Jail.
So where did Lavergne go while he was checked out? Police aren't talking. They won't say why he was checked out of jail or where he was taken. Lieutenant Jack Lightfoot of the Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office picked up Lavergne at 6:40 Tuesday morning. Lavergne was returned to his cell almost nine hours later, around 3:30 in the afternoon.
During those same 9 hours, police found a body in Evangline Parish they believe is Mickey Shunick, they are waiting on positive identification. LPD's corporal paul mouton says police are not ready to reveal why Lavergne was checked-out. Captain Kip Judice of the Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office says Lavergne was signed out to go to the Lafayette Sheriff's Administration Building. But, if Lavergne went somewhere else, there would be no paper trail.
KATC reached out to the District Attorney, and one of lLavergne's attorneys, both declined to comment.

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2 years ago

Face expert examining remains found Tues. night

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - Officials at the Lafayette Parish Coroner's office say the body believed to be Mickey Shunick is in such an advanced stage of decay they had to send it to face identification expert at Louisiana State University.

Keith Talamo, chief medicolegal investigator at the coroner's office, said Wednesday Mary Manhein at the LSU FACES Laboratory will be handling the investigation of the body. Police found it buried at a cemetery about 100 yards off of La. Highway 10.

Talamo said it will be 24-48 hours before they will be able to identify the remains.

Cpl. Paul Mouton, spokesman for the Lafayette Police Department, said a credible witness lead them to the site Tuesday morning. He said they strongly believe the body belongs to the university student who went missing in May.

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2 years ago

Deputies: Lavergne Left Jail Tuesday

Documents from the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center confirm Brandon Scott Lavergne was checked out of the jail Tuesday. According to the document, Lavergne was checked out at 6:40 Tuesday morning. Officials with the Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office say Lavergne was returned to the jail between 3:00 P. M. and 3:30 P. M. Lafayette police could neither confirm nor deny Tuesday Lavergne's presence at the Evangeline Parish graveyard where human remains were found.

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2 years ago

Update from Lafayette Police: Investigators Await Identity of Found Body

Below is the official release from the Lafayette Police Department recapping today's events.

Lafayette, LA - On the morning of August 7, 2012, investigators involved in the Mickey Shunick case received credible information as to the location of Mickey Shunick's body. Investigators were directed to a section of property off of Louisiana Highway 10, near its intersection with Louisiana Highway 13, in Evangeline Parish. Upon going to the site, they discovered an area where a buried body was located. Working with the Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Office, the Lafayette Metro crime scene technicians began processing the scene with forensic experts from LSU.

At approximately 8:30 pm, the body was removed from the scene by the Lafayette Parish Coroner's Office and transported back to Lafayette Parish. Although investigators strongly believe that the body is that of Mickey Shunick, it may take 3 days for the identification process to be completed. The investigation remains ongoing.

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2 years ago

Police not 100 percent sure but believe remains are those of Mickey Shunick

Lafayette Police Cpl. Paul Mouton confirms that police believe remains found in Evangeline Parish are Mickey Shunick's. However, Chief Jim Craft stresses they are not 100 percent certain.

Mickey Shunick's family released this statement:

We appreciate all the efforts of the law enforcement agencies, Searchers and Volunteers. We know that the media has reported that Mickey Shunick's body was found in Evangeline Parish, however, as of right now, and until an official press release is made by the proper officials, we cannot report, either way, that a body found was that of Mickey.
Also, we ask that you please respect the Shunick family by allowing them the privacy they need at this time. It has been, and still is, a long journey in the search to find Mickey, so we truly feel that they deserve some time alone until they are ready to respond to the current rumor.

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2 years ago

Body Discovered in Evangeline Parish Cemetery

Officials in Evangeline Parish have found a body in a grassy area near a cemetery between Mamou and Oakdale. Police say they were called out to the area earlier this morning on a credible tip. They say this is a different body from the deceased man who died of natural causes. They are not sure whether the body is that of a man or a woman.

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2 years ago

Lafayette police confirm search in Mickey Shunick case

The Lafayette Police Department is currently conducting a search of property outside of Lafayette Parish in connection with the Mickey Shunick investigation. The location and findings at that site are not being released at this time, according to Lafayette Police Cpl. Paul Mouton. More information will be forthcoming, he said. Law enforcement sources elsewhere tell KATC a body was found in a private cemetery on LA 10 heading toward Oakdale in Evangeline Parish.

Sources close to Mickey Shunick's family say they have not been notified by authorities of any new developments in the case today. Rumors are running rampant that Mickey's body has been found in Evangeline Parish. Family says they're also hearing rumors. Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Office spokesperson Capt. Shawn Eckhart says a man's body has been found in Evangeline Parish, and he died of natural causes. He said he can't confirm a woman's body, much less Mickey Shunick, has been found.

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2 years ago

New Court Records Reveal What DA's Office Believes Happened in Shunick, Pate Murders

A new document was filed into court today in the case of the State of Louisiana versus Brandon Scott Lavergne. Assistant District Attorney Keith Stutes filed a "Disclosure, Production, Notice to Defendant, and Request for State's Discovery". In it, he outlines what information is available to the defendant's attorneys, but the document also gives clues as to how the murder's of Mickey Shunick and Lisa Pate were investigated by police.

*Intent to seek death penalty:
The document clearly states prosecutors plan on seeking the death penalty for the murders of Pate and Shunick. Explaining why the death penalty is wanted, the filing claims that the murders were committed "in an especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel manner" and that Lavergne has "knowingly killed two or more persons" in separate incidents.

*At trial:
The state wants to have photographs of the victims, not larger than 8 x 10, introduced into evidence and displayed during the entire trial. The claim is that the victims, through photos, are entitled to be present at the trial.

*The DA's Office outlines what they think happened:
The court record filed by the DA's office claims the following information is fact: On or about July 3, 1999, Lavergne met Lisa Pate in Lafayette Parish. It is alleged Pate was persuaded or forced to another location, where she was forced, for her release, to "engage in non-consensual acts, and/or inflicted physical injury, and/or sexual abuse upon Lisa Pate." The document says Lavergne killed Pate and moved the evidence, including the body, "with the intent to distort the results of the criminal investigation."

The court record filed by the DA's office also claims the following information is fact: On or about May 19, 2012, Lavergne forcibly seized Mickey Shunick and carried her to another place where he refused to release her. It is alleged Lavergne "forced her to engage in non-consensual acts, and inflicted physical injury and/or sexual abuse". The document says Lavergne killed Mickey and moved evidence of the murder, including her body and belongings, "to locations with the intent to distort the results of the criminal investigation." Lavergne is also accused of obstruction of justice and the continued tampering of the body of Mickey Shunick. The state also adds that anyone knowing where Mickey's body may be could be charged with Accessories After the Fact.

In the filing, the state claims after Lavergne murdered Mickey, he moved his truck to an out-of-state location, where he intentionally destroyed it. The document alleges Lavergne did so to destroy evidence and distort the results of any criminal investigation. The truck was found May 31, 2012, and that's when Lavergne is accused of providing a false vehicle theft report and a fraudulent claim with State Farm Insurance. The state says Lavergne purchased an identical truck on June 4, 2012 in Lafayette, and in the process, altered his ID to hide the "sex offender" label on his license. Lavergne is also accused of contacting an official at the DMV, offering $500 to get an ID without the "sex offender" label.

*Evidence from the State:
Stutes outlines in the document what he is, and is not, required to turn over. Examples of items he says he doesn't have to give include names and address of witnesses or victims or anything that is public record.

Stutes will provide the initial reports, arrest warrants, search warrants, and the crime scene report. He'll also give the transcription of a voluntary statement Lavergne allegedly gave to a deputy in July after he was read his rights.

Stutes does, in this document, list off statements he has from Lavergne that were given to different people/entities. Included in the list are statements Lavergne allegedly made while in jail to different people, at Oschner's Hospital, to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office, at Opelousas General, to the San Jacinto Sheriff's Office, to State Farm Insurance, and to family members. Other agencies or people listed as having given statements, are only listed as acronyms. The state says they aren't required to tell the defense what was told to them, only that the statements exist.

The state also lists all the search warrants they executed, including homes in Church Point, Crowley, Lafayette, Duson, and Lawtell. They've served search warrants for Lavergne's financial records, for vehicles belonging to Lavergne and others, medical records, a Church Point dumpster, and OnStar information. There are also two warrants to install tracking devices. One was from the 15th JDC in Lafayette; the other warrant was for the 2009 Silverado, belonging to Lavergne, from the 25th JDC in Plaquemines Parish.

The state also says they'll allow the defense to inspect/copy evidence that belonged to the defendant that they plan on using in trial. They'll also turn over results of any physical/mental examinations or scientific tests done in connection with this case.

Stutes does inform the defense he will be bringing up other crimes Lavergne committed, including his guilty plea of Aggravated Oral Sexual Battery in Evangeline Parish in 1999. The document claims the offense was similar, if not identical, to the Pate and Shunick cases, but without murder.

*Evidence the state requests:
The state requests the following from the defense:
1) any documents or tangible objects that they plan to use in the trial
2) reports of examinations and tests
3) mental condition, if the information is to be used in the trial
4) an alibi, if the defense plans on offering up one. It should include date, time, and names/addresses of witnesses.

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2 years ago

Special K9's Return to Acadiana to Search for Mickey Shunick

A team of specially trained K-9's are helping in the search for Mickey Shunick. But this isn't their first time in Acadiana, on their first visits the highly trained dogs scoured Whiskey Bay. Now they're back, combing areas in Acadia, St. Landry and Evangeline Parishes.

"We've kind of drawn a box of the areas we're interested in and we're going to map them out, we're going to clear that area, move on to the next one and keep doing it for as long as it takes," said Mike Candella with the Special K9's Search and Recovery team.

The trainer/K9 teams began by focusing around the property of Brandon Lavergne, the man accused of kidnapping and killing Mickey Shunick. They said if anyone can find Mickey, it would be these highly trained dogs.

"We get down there in the sluices, the bayous, the dense woods, the grown-up fields, it is very very tough and without these guys it's going to be very very hard," said Candella.

The Special K9 Search and Recovery Team uses smell and Candella said even after so many weeks, the dogs would still be able to pick up traces of Mickey.

"They're going to pick up on blood, they're going to pick up on the gases from decomposition," he explained.

He said they're here as volunteers; just another avenue to help the Shunick Family and bring Mickey home.

"I told the family we'll keep coming back as long as they want us to come back," said Candella.

Suspect Brandon Lavergne remains in jail, he pleaded not guilty to the murder and kidnapping of Mickey Shunick, as well as the murder of Lisa Pate.

Lafayette Police and the private investigator on the case said they are still receiving and following up on leads. But as of Wednesday night, no updates on where Mickey's body might be.

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2 years ago

Lavergne Pleads Not Guilty

Brandon Scott Lavergne pleaded not guilty this morning to charges of first-degree murder in the cases of Mickey Shunick and Lisa Pate. Judge Herman Clause set a deadline of October 9 for attorneys in the case to file motions. All hearing dates will be set after that deadline. The District Attorney's Office had no comment on the plea. Josh Coen with Find Mickey Shunick Now says members of the group will be at every hearing until the very end.

Chris Welty and Jenise Fernandez are on the scene. They will have more information as it becomes available.

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2 years ago

Judge to meet Brandon Lavergne in small courtroom for arraignment

There's a change in protocol for Brandon Scott Lavergne's arraignment tomorrow. Instead of the arraignment being held at the 15th Judicial Courthouse, District Judge Herman Clause will meet Lavergne in a courtroom attached to the jail, according to Clause's Secretary: Darlene Champagne. "It made sense because of security problems and all," Clause said to our media partner, The Daily Advertiser. Since it's an arraignment, Lavergne must be present in court.

He's been held in the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center since he was charged with aggravated kidnapping and first degree murder in Mickey Shunick's disappearance. During a grand jury hearing, jurors indicted him on those charges and indicted him in the murder of Lisa Pate. Shunick was last seen on May 19, and Pate's remains were found 13 years ago in September 1999 in Acadia Parish.

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2 years ago

Opelousas City Court will pursue 12 year-old case against Lavergne

Another parish preparing to bring Brandon Lavergne in to answer charges. Last week, we told you about a domestic violence allegation that never saw the inside of a courtroom in St. Landry Parish. It happened in Feburary 2000. According to a police affidavit, Lavergne's ex-wife claimed Lavergne confronted her at Doctor's Hospital in Opelousas where she worked. After arguing over property in their divorce case, she says Lavergne became violent, striking her in the face, choking her and pushing her to the ground. Now, Lavergne could be headed to St. Landry to face a judge there, before his two murder trials in Lafayette and Acadia get underway.
More than a decade after the alleged attack a warrant is still outstanding for Brandon Scott Lavergne. The Opelousas Deputy Clerk of Court saying Lavergne's ex-wife will have her day in court.
"The warrant is still active for simple battery that was filed February 8 of 2000," said Lisa Boudreaux, Opelousas Deputy Clerk of Court. "The next step is for the judge to sign the transportation order to have him transferred over here for prosecution."
Lavergne was arrested on the warrant for simple battery on February 9, 2000. He was then released 12 hours later to Fort Polk where he was stationed at the time. The next day, he was booked into jail in Evangeline Parish in connection with an aggravated oral sexual battery charge. He would end up serving eight years. At that point there was no hold put on Lavergne, or record filed indicating his arrest for the domestic violence in Opelousas. The clerk say, because it happened after hours.
"There was no time for him to come before the judge," said Boudreaux.
In other cases, typically a hold is put on an inmate so the jail knows not to release him until all charges have been addressed in court. Or the court is told about the warrant being cleared so they can schedule a court date. We may never know what happened. The records given to the clerk about who was being booked into jail back in 2000 have been destroyed. It's unclear whether it's the police department who never told them, or the clerk who never booked a court date after the warrant was cleared. Now it's in the hands of the St Landry Parish District Attorney Earl Taylor to see if he wants to pursue the 12 year old case. Taylor says he will wait to see if the warrant is still valid and what the judge decides. Only then will be make a decision whether to prosecute Lavergne.

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2 years ago

Lavergne Allegedly Stalked Former Miss Church Point

Former Miss Church Point Claire Higginbotham says she's been living in fear of Brandon Lavergne for the last 13 years. She refused to get a restraining because she was scared of retaliation.

"I'm terrified now standing here shaking as we speak. I've it and I've seen pan out in the past. You never know what can happen," Higginbotham said.

Church Point police confirm Higginbotham claimed Laverge was stalking her in 1999. She says her first memories with Lavergne go as far back as grade school.

"In the fifth grade he took a handful of ants and shoved them in my mouth. Then he slammed my head into a brick wall," Higginbotham said.

She also said that she and her friends were threatened by Lavergne.


"There were gestures of threats. And he made it clear he would somehow get revenge," she said.

Lavergne even moved across the street from Higginbotham. This all happened before he served eight years for oral sexual battery.

"Why did he have to ruin so many lives throughout his life? He has tortured so many people. Not only the people involved in this case, but throughout his life. And if there is one thing I could tell him right now it would be he should rot in hell for everything he has done. To not only me, but the poor Pate's woman that was found and also Mickey Shunick and her family," Higginbotham said.

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2 years ago

Lavergne Victim Speaks Out

Steven Albritton spoke to someone who says she grew up with Brandon Scott Lavergne and was stalked and bullied by him. Hear the interview tonight on Acadiana's NewsChannel at 5:00 and 6:00.

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2 years ago

Brandon Lavergne Rebooked into Jail; New Mug Shot Taken

According to Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office, Brandon Lavergne has been rebooked into the parish jail on the first degree murder charge in connection with Lisa Pate's 1999 death. He was originally booked on first degree murder and aggravated kidnapping charges in the disappearance of Mickey Shunick on July 5th.

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2 years ago

12 years later warrant still active for Lavergne

So Lavergne is charged with first degree murder in Acadia and Lafayette crimes. He served time in Evangeline Parish for a sex crime, and we learned that he has another outstanding charge in St. Landry Parish, that never went to court. KATC's Erin Steuber investigated this newest development, trying to figure out how it slipped through the cracks.
In February of 2000 Lavergne's ex-wife filed a simple battery charge against him in Opelousas. The incident allegedly happened right after the victim filed for divorce. In her written statement to police, the woman says Lavergne confronted at her work, at Doctor's Hospital in Opelousas, over a truck they owned. She refused to give it to him, that's when she claims Lavergne stormed out. She says she followed him, but as she tried to calm him she says he became violent, striking her in the face, choking her and pushing her to the ground. According to the police report, thats when Lavergne fled the scene. The very next day, Opelousas Police arrested Lavergne on a city court warrant for simple battery. Lavergne was booked in Opelousas City Jail, thats when things get confusing.
According to the Opelousas Police Chief, Lavergne was released the next day, on February 10th, and was picked up by the military from Fort Polk. He was due in court on February 11 in Evangeline Parish where he pled to a charge of aggravated oral sexual battery, and served eight years in jail. Then it become unclear why Lavergne was not forced to answer to the simple battery charges brought against him in Opelousas. The Clerk of Court told us the warrant is still active, twelve years later, because they were never notified Lavergne was ever arrested. But the Opelousas Chief of Police says his understanding is Lavergne had a court date and never showed, but he can't explain why to this day, he was never forced to answer in court.

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2 years ago

Former Acadia Parish Sheriff Speaks About Pate Murder

Former Acadia Parish Sheriff Ken Goss spoke about when he was investigating the murder of Lisa Pate while he was in office.

"If you want to call it a cold case, you can, but I'm happy it's finallystarting to see some closure," Goss said.

After Pate's body was found, a forensics and anthropology team from LSU was brought in to help with the investigation. He was unable to comment on some of the specifics from the case but he did say he was happy that they went ahead with indictments in both parishes.

Lavergne was a suspect at that time. Goss does not remember if they had found a motive for the murder.

"You don't give up. You never give up on those cases. It's just that you've got to lay some aside until something else develops, but it's always in the back of your mind. Gee I wish I could solve this thing once and for all," Goss said.

Goss also said you really have to give credit to the D.A. staff and all of the neighboring agencies. Their hard work will possibly bring this thirteen year mystery to an end.

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2 years ago

Lisa Pate's Family Had No Idea Pate's Murder was Going to be Presented to a Grand Jury

The past 24 hours have been a whirlwind for Lisa Pate's family. Relatives say they didn't think the person indicted in the Mickey Shunick case would be connected to Pate's murder. Shocked and relieved were some of the words Pate's family uses to describe Brandon Lavergne's indictment.
They didn't talk on camera, but Gertie Martie, the grandmother of Pate's children, describes Pate as a caring and loving mother, who would do anything for her children.
The day Lisa went missing is fresh in her mind. Pate didn't show up for one of her children's birthday parties. Gertie knew something must have happened to Lisa. Much like how Mickey Shunick's family grew suspicious when Mickey didn't show up at her brother's graduation. Even though 13 years have passed, Gertie has never forgotten what happened and now she's reliving a painful time.
Pate's brother Mike says Wednesday's revelation was hell. The family didn't know Pate's case was being heard and found out about the indictment while watching the news. He says he wished someone would have called to warn them. District attorney Mike Harson says, there was no time.

"The investigators from Crowley were brought in late in game, they might have not had to time to contact the family, " Harson said.

Lisa's oldest son Bryant declined an interview, but released this statement to KATC:"We are glad he is finally getting charged for this. (We) waited 13 years for this and if they would (have) of gotten him then, he wouldn't have been able to do what he (has) done today. We send our thoughts and prayers out to the Shunick family and thank everyone for their condolences and prayers."

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2 years ago

Details on Lavergne's sexual battery charge and jail time

*Originally reported 7/6/2012

In February 2000, Brandon Scott Lavergne pleaded guilty in Evangeline Parish to aggravated oral sexual battery.

Initially, he was charged with aggravated burglary and oral sexual battery, but he made a plea deal.

In April 1999, Lavergne was arrested after a woman claimed he broke into her bedroom window while she was asleep.
She says Lavergne attacked her, blindfolded her, tied her hands behind her back and forced her to preform oral sex on him.

The woman says she didn't see the man, but told police sounded like her cousin's boyfriend, Brandon Lavergne.

Lavergne doesn't deny meeting up with the victim that night in April of 1999. He says the victim said he could come over anytime as long as no cars were in the driveway.
He admits to knocking on the window and the victim let him in the front door. He says the oral sex was consensual and when things went too far the victim flew into a rage cursing and punching.

Next, Lavergne says he wrestled and he eventually restrained the victim in a head lock. She then kicked him out and he said he complied heading back to Fort Polk where he was stationed in the military.

Lavergne pled down to a charge of aggravated oral sexual battery and stayed in prison until 2008.

He was on probation until 2010 and is required for life to register as a sex offender.

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2 years ago

Brandon Lavergne's Legal/Criminal Timeline

4/12/1999: Brandon Scott Lavergne is accused of oral sexual battery of a woman in Evangeline Parish.

06/1999: Lisa Pate of Youngsville last seen. Family members say she didn't show up for her son's birthday party, which was weird.

07/03/1999: Investigators believe this is around the date Pate was murdered.

09/17/1999: Lavergne marries a woman in Natchitoches, LA.

09/21/1999: Lisa Pate's body is found in the northern part of Acadia Parish.

12/24/1999: Lavergne's ex-wife accuses him, in the divorce records, of domestic violence at Fort Polk. She said she went to the ER at Fort Polk to get a CT scan after being hit several times on the head with his fists. She also says he tried to smother her. We can find no records where Lavergne was charged with this crime; the clerk says they don't keep records past eight years. They say they'll get back to us and will continue looking into it.

02/08/2000: Lavergne's ex-wife accuses him, in the divorce records, of domestic violence. She says Lavergne went to her place of employment at Doctor's Hospital and struck her in the face, grabbed her around the neck, and pushed her down.

02/09/2000: Lavergne booked into the Opelousas jail on a simple battery charge in connection with the claim made by his ex-wife. Police say he was released to Fort Polk officials, but the city clerk says they didn't get notification he was arrested, so his warrant is still active on the battery charge. It is still unclear why the warrant wasn't cleared in city court, why a court date wasn't set in Opelousas, and why a hold wasn't put on him when he was booked into Evangeline Parish two days later. As a result, this case has never gone to trial.

02/11/2000: Lavergne booked into jail in Evangeline Parish on an aggravated oral sexual battery charge where he would serve eight years.

10/16/00: A divorce is granted between Lavergne and his ex-wife in St. Landry Parish.

12/27/00: A judge grants Lavergne's ex-wife custody of their child; today that child is 11 years old.

04/09/2008: A grand jury in Acadia Parish hears a case involving a second degree murder charge against Brandon Scott Lavergne. The victim is identified as Lisa Pate The clerk said there was not enough evidence to issue a true bill or a no true bill in the case.

08/09/2008: Lavergne is released from the Evangeline Parish jail on the aggravated oral sexual battery charge.

05/19/2012, 1:48 a.m.: Mickey is caught on camera, riding her bike, on St. Landry Street. Police say between St. Landry and Blackham Coliseum, Lavergne allegedly kidnapped Mickey. Her bike's damage is consistent with being hit from behind by a vehicle.

05/19/2012, approximately 3:00 pm: According to a police report from Jefferson Parish, Lavergne says he was attacked at a gas station in the New Orleans area, repeatedly stabbed by an unknown man.

05/19/2012, 6:30 p.m.: Mickey's family reports her missing to police.

05/19/2012, 11:00 p.m.: Lavergne is interviewed by Jefferson Parish deputies in connection with an aggravated battery/robbery against him earlier that afternoon. The interview happens at a hospital in New Orleans as Lavergne is being treated, according to a police report. Lavergne can't recall where it happened.

05/25/2012: The video surveillance photos were released to the public.

05/26/2012: Mickey's bike was located under the Whiskey Bay Bridge.

05/31/2012: Lafayette Police say Lavergne's truck was found burned in San Jacinto County, TX.

05/31/2012: Montgomery County Sheriff's Department says Lavergne reports his truck missing.

06/04/2012: Don's Wholesale in Lafayette Parish says Lavergne bought a white, Z-71 pick up truck. Police say the truck is just like his previous truck, found burned in Texas.

06/14/2012: Lafayette Police get the tip the white truck of interest was found burned in Texas. Lafayette Police say it's Lavergne's truck.

07/05/2012: State Police stop Lavergne on a traffic stop in a new white truck and arrest him on a warrant related to registering as a sex offender. He's also booked on first degree murder and kidnapping charges. Police say he is not cooperating.

07/18/2012: Lavergne is indicted in the murders of Mickey Shunick and Lisa Pate.

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2 years ago

DA provides more insight on Pate, Shunick cases

KATC's Marcelle Fontenot sat down with District Attorney Mke Harson today and he provided a little more information about the Pate and Shunick cases.

He says Brandon Lavergne was brought before a 2008 grand jury in connection with Lisa Pate's murder, but that grand jury found there was not enough evidence to indict Lavergne.

Two years is the earliest Harson believes Lavergne will stand trial on either the Shunick or Pate cases.

The DA also says he has not been contacted by any other parish or jurisdiction about the possibility of Lavergne being connected to any other missing person or unsolved murder.

The rest of our questions dealing with the arrest and investigation were not answered; Harson said most of the details will be saved for the trial.

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2 years ago

Lisa Pate's family: She was a loving & caring person

Lisa Pate's family talks to KATC's Jenise Fernandez today at 5 and 6. She's the second woman Brandon Lavergne is accused of killing. Family says hearing about the indictment yesterday was shocking. They describe Lisa as a loving and caring person.

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2 years ago

Pate's Son Comments on Indictment

The following statement was sent to us this morning from Bryant Martie, one of Lisa Pate's sons:

"The only thing we would like to say at this time is that we are glad he is finally getting charged for this. (We) waited 13 years for this and if they would of gotten him then he wouldn't have be able to do what he (has) done today. We send our thoughts and prayers out to the Shunick family and thank everyone for their condolences and prayers."

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2 years ago

Families Await Justice

It was in June of 1999 when 35-year-old Lisa Pate of Youngsville went missing.
There was no sign of the mother of three for three-months.

Until in September, 1999 when a woman's body was found under three large boards in a grassy field in northwest Church Point, dental records identified the body as Lisa Pate.

13-years later, it's unclear what evidence was presented to the grand jury connecting Brandon Lavergne to Pate's death.

For now, the only connection is that her body was found in Church Point, where Lavergne grew up. He was 20 years old at the time. Brandon Lavergne went to jail for an unrelated sex-crime in February of 2000 he was released in 2008.

Now, Lavergne is back behind bars, indicted for first degree murder in the deaths of these two women 13 years apart.

Members of Pate's family are relieved to finally have an arrest. Pate did have three children, a daughter who just a few weeks old, the family did give up for adoption. Pate's older children, two boys are 22 and 16 now. Family members tell us they're anxious for justice.

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2 years ago

Lavergne Indictments Bittersweet for Shunick Family

The grand jury decision on Brandon Lavergne was bittersweet for the Shunick family and volunteers. There was shock and tears at volunteer headquarters as the murder indictments came down for Mickey Shunick and Lisa Pate.

Mickey's father, Tom Shunick, said he was not surprised but sees hope dwindling that they will find Mickey alive.

"Definitely shocked. All of our faces dropped and we had a sigh like everyone else did around Lafayette. To know that it was a double-murder indictment kind of froze everybody," said volunteer organizer Margaret Bearb.

While most were shocked, Tom said he knew there could be more victims. Still, a murder indictment means he's almost positive they won't find Mickey alive.

"Not a hundred percent, but it sure doesn't look very good does it? I mean this guy has murdered and buried a body before," said Tom. "It certainly looks like this is his M.O."

However, closure for Tom and his family remains out of reach. They hope the latest charge will help Mickey's case.

"Well we've been waiting a little over two months to get closure on this and it still isn't closed, they haven't found the body," said Tom. "Hopefully now, if he's being charged with something else, hopefully he'll come clean and tell people where the body is."

As for the family of Lisa Pate, Tom and others said they now have someone else to sit next to in the courtroom when it all goes to trial.

"I can imagine, I know what they went through, it's been 12 years or so for them, maybe 14," he said.

Bring Mickey Home -- it's been the motto since the day Mickey disappeared. Bearb said it remains their mission even now.

"For us, the people my age who remember the Lisa Pate case, whew, it's a shocker and I feel so happy for that family because they get to face that closure. But I feel so sad for our family in Lafayette because we haven't gotten the closure," said Bearb.

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2 years ago

Lavergne indictments not surprising to Shunick family

Tom Shunick, Mickey's father, is not surprised by indictments against Brandon Lavergne. The news is hard on the family and solidifies Mickey will not be returned home alive. KATC's Maddie Garrett talks to Mr. Shunick at 10:00.

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2 years ago

Recap of Brandon Lavergne's Criminal History

This isn't Brandon Lavergne's first encounter with the law. He's a registered sex offender and was accused of domestic abuse, all before charges were brought against him in the Mickey Shunick case.
Brandon Lavergne was arrested in April 1999 for a sex crime. An 18-year-old woman claims he broke into her bedroom window while she was asleep. She says, he blindfolded her, tied her hands behind her back and forced her to perform oral sex. Lavergne doesn't deny meeting up with her that night, but has a different story. He says the victim told him to come over. In a sworn statement he says, "I admit (she) did perform oral sex on me and I admit I was there, but everything we did that night was totally consensual. We never had intercourse and a medical test should be able to prove that."
He ended up pleading guilty to aggravated oral sexual battery almost a year later in February of 2000. In another case, he's accused of domestic abuse. Lavergne married in September 1999, but the marriage only lasted a year. His ex-wife claimed Lavergne physically abused her, alleging Lavergne hit her on the head and tried to smother her. He was never convicted of domestic abuse charges. The couple divorced in October 2000, while he was in prison on the oral sexual battery charge.
He served eight years and was on probation until February this year. He's a registered sex offender for life, but recently tried to change his status, claiming when he committed the crime, there was no law that required him to register for life.Court documents say since Lavergne was released from prison he "has maintained a clean record." On July 5th, he was charged with aggravated kidnapping and first degree murder of Mickey Shunick. While Lavergne was serving time in prison, he was fighting his conviction, claiming ineffective counsel, illegal sentencing, and a violation of constitutional rights.He tried to appeal his conviction three times, but was denied each time.

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2 years ago

Brandon Lavergne indicted in second woman's murder

In addition to being indicted for the murder of Mickey Shunick, a grand jury indicted Brandon Lavergne for Lisa Pate's murder in 1999. Pate, of Youngsville, went missing in June 1999, and her body was discovered three months later in September under three large boards in a grassy field northwest of Church Point in Acadia Parish. Anthropologists at LSU used dental records to make positively identify Pate. Pate had three young children.

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2 years ago

Brandon Scott Lavergne indicted on 2 counts of first degree murder

A grand jury has indicted Brandon Scott Lavergne for the first degree murder of Mickey Shunick, and he's been indicted for the first degree murder of Lisa Pate who was found dead in 1999. Jurors found enough evidence to indict him on the charges. 15th Judicial District Assistant District Attorney Keith Stutes presented the state's evidence against Lavergne, who was arrested on July 5. KATC's Jim Hummel will be live at the Lafayette Parish Courthouse at 6:00, and KATC'S Maddie Garrett will be live with Mickey's family at the Mickey Shunick Headquarters.

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2 years ago

Grand Jury to Decide if Enough Evidence in Shunick Case

A grand jury will meet today to decide if there's enough evidence to indict Brandon Scott Lavergne, the man charged with aggravated kidnapping and first-degree murder of Mickey Shunick.

Brandon Lavergne will not make the walk from the Lafayette Parish Jail to the courthouse today. District Attorney Mike Harson says Lavergne wasn't invited to testify and he has no right to attend. I spoke with a Lafayette criminal defense attorney not working on this case to get answers on what strategies the defense may use.

For forty-four years Thomas Guilbeau has practiced criminal law in Lafayette, covering a variety of cases including homicides and death penalty cases. He says it won't be hard to get an indictment from a grand jury in Lavergne's case.

"Their level of burden in this is not beyond reasonable doubt, it is basically probable cause," said Guilbeau.

During a grand jury, the defense is left in the cold not knowing what evidence and witnesses may be presented. The defense does have several options though to try and get information.

"They could ask for a bond hearing for this guy and subpoena witnesses to appear that may know something for the case to get on a fishing expedition."

If Lavergne is indicted, he's not entitled to a preliminary hearing, which is where the defense would receive a wealth of information including possible evidence.

"It's a smart move on the D.A.'s part and they have to indict in a murder case."

Guilbeau believes Lavergne's lawyers will say most of the evidence is circumstantial and rule out every possible hypothesis of what happened the day Mickey disappeared.

"He's setting up an alibi. He was in Jefferson Parish and was attacked. He's going to say I was not around Lafayette when this happened. Someone stole my truck and they burned it."

As far as a change of venue, Guilbeau says it really is up in the air because this is such a high profile case and he does believe the defense will use media clips such as an interview Chief Craft gave to the Advertiser a few days ago. "Making comments like he did about the defendant should say where the body is and how it's hurting the family, I think that's fuel to the fire for a change of venue. I think Chief Craft needs to keep his mouth shut and not talk about the case anymore because he's not helping them keep it here," said Guilbeau.

Chris Welty
cwelty@katctv.com

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2 years ago

Grand Jury to Hear Lavergne Evidence in One Hour

A Lafayette grand jury will hear the evidence against Brandon Scott Lavergne at 3:00 P. M. at the Lafayette Parish Courthouse. We will have live coverage from the courthouse tonight on Acadiana's Newschannel at 5:00 and 6:00.

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2 years ago

Brandon Lavergne's Criminal History Examined

A grand jury will hear evidence against Brandon Scott Lavergne today and will decide whether or not to indict him. Tonight at 5:00 and 6:00, we'll take a look at his criminal history.

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2 years ago

Grand Jury Will Hear Evidence Against Brandon Scott Lavergne Wednesday

A grand jury will meet Wednesday to decide if there's enough evidence to indict Brandon Scott Lavergne. He's charged with aggravated kidnapping and first degree murder of Mickey Shunick. A judge has chosen 12 jurors. If there's enough evidence to indict, the jury will return a "true bill" meaning they believe there's enough evidence for a trial. A "no true bill" would mean not enough evidence. Louisiana law says for an indictment, at least 9 jurors must agree. Grand jurors do not decide if someone is guilty, they simply listen to evidence and decide if someone should be indicted.

The grand jury proceedings are secret. From the jurors, to the court reporter, anyone inside the courtroom must take an oath not to discuss anything said during a grand jury. Evidence presented will not be made public, even after the jury decides on a true bill or no true bill.

"The purpose of that is to give them complete flexibility and protection from public discourse," said 16th Judicial Assistant District Attorney, Chester Cedars.

Although Lavergne's case is not Cedars' case, he has presented evidence to countless grand juries. He says the prosecution, District Attorney Mike Harson's office, plays the biggest role. Assistant DA Keith Stutes will present evidence.

"The defense lawyer has no role, except to appear and advise his client," said Cedars.

The client, Brandon Lavergne won't be in court. In an e-mail, Harson says, "he has not been invited to testify and he has no right to attend the session." With a high-profile case such as this, what are the chances of keeping the trial here in Acadiana? Cedars says it's simply too soon to tell.

"That decision cannot and should not be made until you're close to the trial date. Publicity doesn't disqualify a venue," he added.

With still no sign of Mickey Shunick, Cedars says investigators must be confident Lavergne will be indicted, otherwise they wouldn't have charged him.

"There are a lot of people in jail today that are in jail because of circumstantial evidence," he said.

If the grand jury decides on a true bill, the prosecution will then have to decide on whether or not to seek the death penalty. If they don't seek the death penalty, the trial will be expedited. If they do, it could take many months before Lavergne sees his day in court.

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2 years ago

Lavergne's attorneys ask for bond reduction & probable cause hearing

Brandon Scott Lavergne's attorneys have filed court documents asking for a hearing to show probable cause for Lavergne's first degree murder and aggravated kidnapping charges in Mickey Shunick's disappearance. Also, attorney Burleigh Doga is asking for Lavergne's bond to be reduced for the aggravated kidnapping charge. Bond for aggravated kidnapping is $250,000. There is no bond set for the first-degree murder charge since it's a capital case.

Lavergne was arrested on July 5 and is being held in the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center. Shunick disappeared on May 19 while riding her bicycle, and on May 26, her bike was found under the Whiskey Bay Bridge. Despite ongoing searches to find Shunick, police have not found her.

Wednesday, a grand jury will hear evidence in the case and will decide whether to indict Lavergne. The grand jury meets at 3:00 Wednesday afternoon, and Assistant District Attorney for the 15th Judicial District, Keith Stutes, will present the state's evidence.

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2 years ago

Equusearch Back in Acadiana Searching for Mickey Shunick

Equusearch is again searching for Mickey Shunick. Lafayette Police asked the search and recovery team Equusearch to come back two days after Brandon Lavergne's kidnapping and murder arrest. Equusearch was here for about a week soon after Mickey's disappearance in May. They left after exhausting all leads.
About a dozen Equusearch team members were searching today in St. Martin Parish, but still no sign of Mickey.

"Unfortunately we haven't been to the right place so we're here until it's over with or we've done everything can," said Executive Director Tim Miller.

Last time they were here, they allowed volunteers to help, but this time, only experienced people are allowed on searches. They've gone through extensive training with Equusearch and know how to search for evidence.

"They're very seasoned in searching and I feel this is a lot better with experienced searchers than with volunteers," said Miller.

Miller says the team is focusing on St. Landry, Lafayette, and Acadia parishes. He won't say why their focus is in these three parishes, but aren't ruling out other areas, like Whiskey Bay where the team searched thoroughly during its last visit.

"I'm not going to say we're done there but there are some priority areas first and we're going through the elimination process now," he added.

The team is using ATVs to search through wooded areas. Over the weekend, they used a small ultra-light plane. Miller says finding Mickey is crucial.

"The family needs closure they need to be able to say goodbye. They need a place to go and put flowers and visit," said Miller.

Equusearch has searched for more than 1,200 missing people. So far, they've found and returned 300 safely.They've also found 136 bodies.

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2 years ago

Texas Equusearch returns

This weekend Texas Equusearch is back in Acadiana. You'll remember, they're a search and recovery group, which spent time here in the first days and weeks after Mickey went missing. They left, but vowed to return once new information surfaced. While it's unclear where they are searching, and whether or not they've found anything, the group posted on Facebook they are not in need of volunteers, this time around. They're using only Texas Equusearch members for this latest search.
To the suspect in Mickey's disappearance, Brandon Lavergne is still being held without bond, but he's due before a grand jury Wednesday on charges of first degree murder and aggravated kidnapping. The grand jury will then choose whether to indict him on those charges or not.
"We're urging people not to form groups, or to overdramatize the situation on Wednesday," said Mickey's friend Josh Coen, "It's gonna' be a very big day for all of us. So we need to make sure that day is treated with respect and patience."

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2 years ago

Fundraisers Continue for Mickey

Counter Culture and Party Time Party Supplies are both in middle of fundraisers to help in the search for Mickey Shunick.

Counter Culture started their fundraiser Friday afternoon and will run until Sunday night. 20% of their proceeds will go straight to the Mickey fund. Volunteers from the Mickey search center are on hand all weekend taking donations.

"I don't know if anybody could feel what her parents are feeling today. We've gone over it and talked about it a lot and if it happened to our daughters, we would do everything we could do in our power to bring her home," Counter Culture co-owner Dan Ford said.

Party Time Party Supplies is involved in the "Adopt a Corner" campaign. If you go to the search center, you can pick an intersection that doesn't have fliers or lawn signs on it. The party store will then sell you lawn signs at a deeply discounted rate, and 100% of the money brought in for the signs will go to the search fund. Their main goal is to make sure Mickey's name stays out there.

"All we're hoping is to get this out. To get all of Lafayette to know what we're doing. We want her face everywhere, Opelousas, Carencro, Abbeville, New Iberia. We want her face covering this state," Party Time Party Supplies Blair Whitaker said.

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2 years ago

May 19: The day Mickey Shunick went missing

KATC is working to fill in gaps in the timeline the day Mickey Shunick disappeared. Lets go back to the beginning of what we know.
On May 18 Mickey was with friends at Artmosphere. She left around 1 AM May19, riding her bike to a friends house.
45 minutes later, about 1:45 AM, Mickey started her bike ride home.
15 minutes later, about 2 AM, she is caught on camera riding her bike on St. Landry, a white truck, identified as suspect Brandon Lavergne's, is seen following close behind.
That's when police say Lavergne kidnapped Mickey, somewhere between St. Landry and Blackham Coliseum.
His whereabouts were unknown until we got our hands on a police report from Jefferson Parish.
According to the report, on May 19, 21 hours after Mickey disappeared, Jefferson Parish Sheriffs deputies interviewed Lavergne at Oschner Hospital. Lavergne told them a stranger stabbed him earlier that day at a gas station, but he couldn't say where. He was stabbed in the chest, back, neck, and hand. Deputies say the more questions they asked, Lavergne became less and less cooperative. Lavergne was released from the hospital.

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2 years ago

Volunteers search near Brandon Lavergne's home

Volunteer search crews are searching fields near Brandon Lavergne's home. A few St. Landry Parish deputies are assisting with four wheelers. There are no new developments, but volunteers want to check and clear nearby fields.

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2 years ago

Yogurt Restaurant to Donate Proceeds to Shunick Campaign

The Find Mickey Now organization will receive assistance from a Lafayette frozen yogurt restaurant. Counter Culture Frozen Yogurt on Pinhook Road will donate a percentage of its proceeds from sales today, tomorrow, and Sunday to the Mickey Shunick search effort.

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2 years ago

Lavergne's Whereabouts After Mickey's Disappearance Becomes Clearer

KATC is the only news outlet with this initial police report from the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office detailing an interview they had with murder suspect Brandon Lavergne the same day Mickey Shunick was kidnapped.

This latest development is filling out the gaps in a timeline leading up to Lavergne's arrest and charge of murder in connection with Mickey's disappearance.

Until now, there was a gaping hole in what is known about Lavergne's whereabouts after Mickey disappeared. Surveillance video captured her on St. Landry Street at 1:48 a.m. On May 19th. Moments after, the white pick up truck police believe is Lavergne's can be seen following Mickey.

After that, it appears he headed east on I-10 to New Orleans. On May 19th, Lavergne checked into Oschner Hospital on Jefferson Highway around 11:00 pm, claiming he had been attacked and stabbed several times by a stranger at an unknown gas station.

In the incident report, Lavergne told Jefferson Parish deputies he was attacked around 3:00 pm that day, but they said Lavergne could not tell them where the gas station was, he would give no street names, buildings or landmarks.

Lavergne claimed he was in town visiting a friend and would return home when he left the hospital. He also said his wallet and driver's license was stolen.

But as the deputy asked more questions, the report says the less information Lavergne would provide. They filed the report and the hospital released him.

Fast forward 12 days, Lavergne's truck is found burned in Texas. We now know days later, on June 4th, he bought a new Z-71 just like his old one from Don's Wholesale in Lafayette Parish.

A month later, police arrested him and charged him with aggravated kidnapping and first degree murder.

Lafayette Police said they knew about the hospital visit in New Orleans, but would not comment further, saying they want to protect the integrity of the case.

A new mug shot of Lavergne is also now public. It shows him clean-shaven, unlike the original mug shot from his arrest on July 5th.

The Lafayette Sheriff's Office said they realized they had not charged him with failure to register as a sex offender. The Sheriff's Office said this pertains to Lavergne allegedly destroying his driver's license in order to conceal that he was a registered sex offender.

In order to charge him, they had to re-book him and take a new mugshot. The online inmate data base automatically updates with the latest mug shot.

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2 years ago

Additional information added to timeline surrounding Mickey Shunick's disappearance

Updated timeline in Mickey Shunick's disappearance (information from Lafayette Police, unless otherwise stated)


May 18, 2012, 10:15 p.m. : Mickey and friends attended a concert at Artmosphere.

May 19, 2012, 12:44 a.m. : Mickey rides bike back to Ryan Street residence with a friend.

May 19, 2012, 1:24 a.m.: Mickey seen in surveillance video at Taco Bell.

May 19, 2012, 1:31 a.m.: Mickey receives a call from her friend; it was the last time her phone was used.

May 19, 2012, 1:45 a.m.: Mickey begins to ride her bike home from the Ryan Street residence.

May 19, 2012, 1:47 a.m. : Mickey is caught on camera, riding her bike, on Versailles Boulevard.

May 19, 2012, 1:48 a.m.: Mickey is caught on camera, riding her bike, on St. Landry Street. Police say between St. Landry and Blackham Coliseum, Lavergne allegedly kidnapped Mickey. Her bike's damage is consistent with being hit from behind by a vehicle.

May 19, 2012, approximately 3:00 pm: According to a police report from Jefferson Parish, Lavergne says he was attacked at a gas station in the New Orleans area, repeatedly stabbed by an unknown man.

May 19, 2012, 6:30 p.m.: Mickey's family reports her missing to police.

May 19, 2012, 11:00 p.m.: Lavergne is interviewed by Jefferson Parish deputies in connection with an aggravated battery/robbery against him earlier that afternoon. The interview happens at a hospital in New Orleans as Lavergne is being treated, according to a police report. Lavergne can't recall where it happened.

May 20, 2012 : The first search party is organized.

May 25, 2012: The video surveillance photos were released to the public.

May 26, 2012: Mickey's bike was located under the Whiskey Bay Bridge.

May 31, 2012: Lafayette Police say Lavergne's truck was found burned in San Jacinto County, TX.

May 31, 2012: Montgomery County Sheriff's Department says Lavergne reports his truck missing.

June 4, 2012: Don's Wholesale in Lafayette Parish says Lavergne bought a white, Z-71 pick up truck. Police say the truck is just like his previous truck, found burned in Texas.

June 14, 2012: Lafayette Police get the tip the white truck of interest was found burned in Texas. Lafayette Police say it's Lavergne's truck.

July 5, 2012: State Police stop Lavergne on a traffic stop in a new white truck and arrest him on a warrant related to registering as a sex offender. He's also booked on first degree murder and kidnapping charges. Police say he is not cooperating.

July 18, 2012: Lavergne is scheduled to appear before a grand jury in Lafayette Parish.

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2 years ago

Mickey's Family and Friends Relieved Nothing was Found in St. Landry Search

Emotions ran high when Mickey's family and friends found out authorities were digging up possible graves near Brandon Lavergne's home.

"I'd like to find out how he was involved in this, did he take my daughter is she still alive, if not where's the body?" wondered Tom Shunick, Mickey's father.

Tom Shunick and family and friends say they were relieved when the search turned up nothing, but tom still needs answers.

"Still got a little ray of hope out there. It helps the day go on better, but we certainly need to get some closure on this,' said Shunick.

So it's business as usual at headquarters. New T-shirts, more bracelets, and more flyers all over the volunteer headquarters. Volunteer Jay Steiner says Brandon Lavergne's arrest and new developments helped renew interest in finding Mickey.

"We have 20 to 30 people come in a day, whereas days before the arrest, we had days maybe 1 person came in to pick up a flyer," said Steiner.

People like 14-year-old Mia Leger. Leger says seeing Mickey's face day after day has made her want to lend a hand.

"I just wanted to come and get a shirt to help the family and show support make sure they find her just for closure," said Leger.

"It's great someone is in custody, but the one person we want to see is Mickey. When she's back, that's when we'll stop," said Steiner.

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2 years ago

Police will continue to search more land in connection with Lavergne

Police clear three areas of what they're calling "suspicious mounds of dirt" in the search for Mickey Shunick. A Lawtell land owner reported the mounds, near Saint Ann Catholic Church in Lawtell, only a few miles from suspect Brandon Lavergne's home. Although the search turned up nothing, police say they will not stop looking. Wednesday night police received a tip from a farmer in Lawtell saying he found suspicious mounds of dirt near his property. police were unable to get permission to search until Thursday morning. Overnight, police protected the property near the church, about one and a half miles from Lavergne's home.
"We had to leave two deputies to protect the area last night and then came back early this morning with permission to search," said St. Landry Parish Sheriff Bobby Guidroz.
Police used special equipment to search the area, including grid searches by Equisearch. Guidroz says even though this search turned up nothing, they will not stop looking.
"The sites cleared officially, it's not declared a crime scene," said Guidroz. "We've determined there's nothing in the mounds so we move on from here."
Corporal Paul Mouton with Lafayette Police Department says this mornings search is only one of many properties the departments will be investigating.
"We've received information of where maybe he's camped or hunted on, regarding property elsewhere in different parishes around," said Mouton. "So we're gonna' still visit those locations even though they're not directly tied to where he lived."
Police are not identifying the farmer who owns the land. But they say he reported the areas to be suspicious because he knew he had not dug them.

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2 years ago

Lavergne questioned in Jefferson Parish May 19th

We're learning new details of where murder suspect Brandon Lavergne may have been just hours after Mickey Shunick's disappearance. The Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office says they interviewed Lavergne the same day Mickey was kidnapped.

Deputies say they arrived at Oschner Hospital on Jefferson Highway just after 11:00 pm on May 19, 2012 after a man showed up there after being stabbed. The victim, identified as Brandon Lavergne, told police he was attacked outside of a gas station.

They say Lavergne was unsure where the gas station was, so both New Orleans Police and Jefferson Parish deputies interviewed him at the hospital. The deputy who wrote the incident report says Lavergne told them the attack happened at 3:00 pm on May 19th. Lavergne allegedly indicated his GPS wasn't working, and he was driving around in an unknown area, so he stopped at a gas station to ask directions. The report says that's when a white male, with gold teeth, a neck tattoo, wearing a #24 Saints football jersey and a black hat covering most of his face, attacked him without warning. He was stabbed several times in the chest, back, neck, and hand. Lavergne's wallet was also reported stolen, in it was his license and $40. Lavergne then told deputies he drove around until he found the hospital.

The deputy writing the incident report asked Lavergne if he had any recollection of the location, but Lavergne couldn't provide any more information. The deputy questioned him about street names he saw, building shapes, landmarks, or significant structures, but said Lavergne couldn't elaborate on where the attack happened. He allegedly reported that he was in town visiting a friend and he would be returning home when he left the hospital.

The deputy goes on to indicate the more he would question Lavergne about the attack, the less information he began to provide. The medical staff told police his injuries were non-life threatening, so they allowed him to leave the hospital. Police are classifying this as an aggravated battery and theft under $500, with Lavergne being listed as the victim.

Mickey Shunick was last seen 2:00 am riding her bike in Lafayette on May 19, 2012. Brandon Lavergne is being held in jail on a first degree murder charge in connection with her disappearance.

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2 years ago

Supposed Gravesites Turn up Nothing

What authorities initially thought was a potential area of interest turned out to be nothing, said Lafayette Police Cpl. Paul Mouton. St. Landry Parish Sheriff Bobby Guidroz said the search has been called off. Three areas that resembled graves turned out to be nothing, he said. Sheriff Bobby Guidroz says the three mounds thought to be graves turned up nothing. Deputies began their search before 7:00 this morning after the sheriff's office received tips of the mounds from a farmer.

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2 years ago

Possible grave in St. Landry Parish turns out to be nothing

What authorities initially thought was a potential area of interest turned out to be nothing, said Lafayette Police Cpl. Paul Mouton. St. Landry Parish Sheriff Bobby Guidroz said the search has been called off. Three areas that resembled graves turned out to be nothing, he said.

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2 years ago

Deputies Investigating Possible Grave in Swords

The St. Landry Parish Sheriff's Office and Lafayette police are searching property near the home of Brandon Scott Lavergne. St. Landry Parish Sheriff Bobby Guidroz says his office received a tip from a farmer about three mounds he found that could be shallow graves in Swords near St. Ann's Catholic Church. Guidroz says two of the mounds have been ruled out as graves. Detectives are still searching the third location. Cadaver dogs are on the scene assisting in the investigation.

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2 years ago

Shunick Family On Internet Rumors, Possibility of Change in Venue

The Shunick family is speaking out about on-line rumors of a demonstration outside the Lafayette Parish Courthouse next Wednesday, when Brandon Lavergne goes before a grand jury.

"My family and I and everything from the search efforts would just really appreciate it if people would not go out there or any public venue to protest or speak out against [Lavergne]," said Charlie Shunick.

Should the grand jury indict Lavergne, the Shunicks are hoping the trial would be held here in Lafayette.

"We would like for it to be here, I feel like it's the type of case where a lot of of people know about it but their opinions are still able to be unbiased," she said.

District Attorney Mike Harson also commented on the potential of a change in venue, releasing a statement to KATC which read in part: "I believe that there are more than enough people who in fact do not know enough about this case that they couldn't give a fair trial."

However, with all the publicity surrounding the Shunick case, Lafayette attorney Tommy Guilbeau thinks a change in venue is likely.

"High profile cases like this are rarely tried in the venue that they occur, and I wouldn't be greatly surprised if we did have a change of venue down the line," said Guilbeau.

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2 years ago

Shunick Discourages Courthouse Rallies

The following statement has been released by Charlene Shunick, the sister of Mickey Shunick:

"In response to the recent rumors about a gathering in front of the Lafayette courthouse or another public location on July 18th, the day of the grand jury hearing for Brandon Lavergne, we with the Find Mickey Now search effort would like to discourage any individuals or groups from participating or hosting any such activity. We also want to make it clear that neither Mickey Shunick's family nor any of the volunteers in the search effort are endorsing any activity planned or statement made by any individuals or organizations in regards to these rumors, nor will any of us be attending any such events or gatherings."

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2 years ago

Tip Lines See An Increase In Calls After Friday's Shunick News Conference

The tip lines for Mickey Shunick have seen a lot of action since Friday's news conference to announce an arrest had been made. Private Investigator John Abdella says his office has recieved quite a few calls from the area where Brandon Scott Lavergne lived.

"You know people call and they have acreage and they live in a rural area and they notice tire tracks and things that weren't there before," Abdella said.

Abdella has had to add more staff to his operation to handle the extra calls. He also said he speaks with Mickey's father, Tom Shunick, on an almost daily basis.

Lafayette Police have seen a few more calls in but they are noticing that each call they are receiving is giving them a more centralized focus.

"Those tips that are coming in now are more refined in that they are giving us very strong information and very plausible information. We can go out and check these areas that we believe possibly Mickey can be located," Corporal Paul Mouton said.

Police and private investigators are continuing to urge the public to use the tip line. The tip line was a big factor in leading to the arrest of Brandon Scott Lavergne .

"You know from the beginning of this investigation, the tips, although they were overwhelming at times, they always provided good information in trying to give us a direction, to the point where we got our information on Lavergne," Mouton said.

The tip line number is 291-8633.

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2 years ago

Brandon Lavergne's case goes to grand jury

The man accused of killing Mickey Shunick will go before a grand jury next week, according to our media partner The Daily Advertiser. The grand jury will decide whether to indict Brandon Lavergne in Shunick's kidnapping and murder. Jurors meet July 18.

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2 years ago

Brandon Lavergne Accused of Domestic Abuse in 1999 Marriage

New information Monday about accused kidnapper Brandon Lavergne's past. He's charged now with kidnapping and murder in the Mickey Shunick case.

In addition to a sexual assault conviction in Evangeline Parish, he's also accused of domestic abuse by a woman who was his wife for just a year, according to St. Landry Parish Court Records.

The last time Lavergne was sent to jail, his wife was awarded a divorce. Court documents show it was a brief marriage where she was scared for her safety.

Lavergne was married in Natchitoches, it lasted from September 1999 to October 2000. The couple lived in Leesville, at Fort Polk where Lavergne was a soldier.

The ex-wife claimed Lavergne physically abused her, outlining one incident just a few months after they were married in September 1999, where Lavergne allegedly hit her on the head and then tried to smother her. She stated in documents that the attack sent her to the hospital for CT scans.

Then in February of 2000, the ex-wife stated that Lavergne showed up to her work, hit her in the face, grabbed her neck and threw her down. The next day, she filed for divorce and also requested a temporary restraining order and protective orders.

The troubled marriage ended in October of 2000, when a judge granted the divorce. Lavergne was not present for the hearing because he was already in jail, convicted of aggravated oral sexual battery of another woman in Redell.

Lavergne was never convicted of any domestic abuse charges. KATC reached out to his ex-wife on the phone, she declined comment.

Lavergne remains in the Lafayette Parish Jail awaiting a grand jury to determine if they have enough evidence to try him on murder. No bond has been set on his first degree murder charge.

2 years ago

Mickey Shunick's Dad Comments On Arrest

For the first time since Brandon Lavergne was arrested in the disappearance of Mickey Shunick, her family is weighing in on his arrest.

"If he is the one, if he took my daughter and murdered her, I hope he gets what he deserves," said Mickey's Dad, Tom Shunick.

Before justice is served, Shunick and his family say they just want answers. It's been 51 days since anyone has seen Mickey.

"If she is still alive out there, I'd bargain with [Lavergne]," said Shunick. "As far as I'm concerned, he can go [free] if it'd bring my daughter back, but if he's buried the body out there, I don't want to bargain for that."

Despite the grim charges facing Lavergne, the Shunick family is still staying positive.

"Well there is still hope," said Shunick. "Until a body is found, there's a little ray of hope left."

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2 years ago

Mickey Shunick Volunteers Seeking Advice from Elizabeth Smart's Family

The volunteers here work nonstop, and they say they won't stop until Mickey is home. Now, they want to give back to the community with an idea that comes from Elizabeth Smart's family.

Margaret Bearb is hoping to turn this negative into a positive. She wants to make sure what happened to Mickey doesn't happen to anyone else.

"At the beginning we all said the same thing, that couldn't happen here in Lafayette that happens in other towns and other cities, but that did happen here," said Bearb.

Bearb is hoping to give people information on how to protect themselves right here at the mickey Shunick headquarters. The plan is, as people come in to pick up flyers, she wants to give people information on how to protect themselves, through self-defense and being aware of their surroundings.

"Especially with younger kids, we really don't take the time to really go through the A-B-C's and teach them," said Bearb.

It's an idea Bearb got from Ed Smart, whose daughter Elizabeth Smart made national headlines when she was abducted from her Utah home in the middle of the night. Nine months later she was found alive.

"Ed is just the nicest man. They said they did that and it worked well so we want to initiate that here," added Bearb.

"We've been in contact with lots of people who can provide some insight on what to do in this situation, probably no one knows better than Ed Smart," said volunteer Jay Steiner.

The headquarters have been a"home away from home" for these volunteers, doing whatever they can to keep hope alive.

"We might lock these doors at the end of the day, but we're here every day and we won't stop until we get her back," said Bearb.

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2 years ago

Brandon Scott Lavergne was being monitored

On Friday's edition of KPEL's "The Afternoon Drive Home," Cpl. Paul Mouton told KATC's Scott Brazda that Brandon Scott Lavergne was being monitored by authorities. Mouton said officials knew Lavergne worked offshore and knew what routes he would drive.

"When it was told to us that he would be traveling," Mouton said, "that information was passed on to the Louisiana State Police who were in the area."

Click here to read the entire article and listen to the interview.

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2 years ago

Mickey Shunick's father speaks out

Tom Shunick, Mickey's father, says he won't give up until they find his daughter. He's speaking out for the first time since Brandon Lavergne's first degree murder arrest. Mr. Shunick talks to KATC's Jim Hummel. Airs today at 5.

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2 years ago

Brandon Lavergne's Family Speaks Out

Tonight, we're hearing for the first time from Brandon Lavergne's family. His mother, Cynthia Lavergne, releasing a statement to KATC saying,

"I would like to offer my condolences to the Shunick family. I also would like to have closure. I know I'm sorry is never enough however, it is all I have to offer at this moment. I am learning about this case as everyone else is, one newscast at a time, one facebook post at a time, and one phone call at a time."

-- Cynthia Lavergne

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2 years ago

Lavergne's truck found burned in Texas

As you recall, a white Chevy Silverado, possibly a model Z-71, was identified as a vehicle of interest after surveillance video was released; Showing Mickey riding her bike at the same time the truck was headed down St. Landry. Police say that truck was Lavergne's and he was driving. Police believe he quickly dumped the vehicle, days after those pictures were released. Deputies in San Jacinto Texas say they found a truck in their county, on May 31, burned. But Lafayette police didn't get the tip until the middle of June.
San Jacinto is approximately an hour's drive north from Houston. Lavergne's truck was found burned only days after Lafayette police released photographs of the truck as a vehicle of interest. But it wasn't until June 14th, when an unknown caller phoned the tip line, relaying the information about the burned truck in Texas. The truck was Lavergne's, and he actually called deputies in Montgomery County Texas to report it missing the same day it was found (May 31st). Police say they have evidence that Lavergne was in the Whiskey Bay area around the time Mickey's bike was found. But they won't elaborate.
"Based on information and surveillance, detectives were able to positively identify the truck that traveled directly behind Mickey in the video as belonging to Brandon Lavergne," said Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft.
When Lavergne was stopped, he was in another white truck, but police say it was just a replacement.
"Through the investigation by our detectives and Louisiana State Police we were able to determine he had purchased another vehicle. I think it's a S-71 white pick-up truck, just like the one he had," said Craft.
Another question still remaining, if what police say is what happened, it doesn't explain how Lavergne got back to Lafayette from Texas after his truck was burned. Police tell us it's all part of their investigation.

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2 years ago

Siding being removed off Lavergne's house

According to deputies in St. Landry Parish, they are right now removing the skirting from around Lavergne's trailer. The spokesperson tells us neighbors tipped them off. Neighbors told them Lavergne recently replaced all that same siding around his house, and they were checking underneath for more evidence.

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2 years ago

Statement from Mickey Shunick's family

Mickey Shunick's family and friends remain hopeful she is alive despite Brandon Lavergne's first degree murder and aggravated kidnapping charges. "All we want is Mickey back. All we care about is finding out what happened and getting our girl back," the family said in a released statement to media. They said they're holding up fine and staying positive, and that the chances of Mickey being alive today are the same as they were yesterday. "Our goal is the same as since May 19 - find Mickey and bring her home," said Mickey's mother, Nancy.

In the statement, family thanked everyone for "everything you have done for our family, friends and extended families." They said they wouldn't be where they are today without support. The family has requested their privacy "in this emotionally turbulent time."

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2 years ago

Verbatim from LPD news conference in Mickey Shunick case

This is the release from the Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft in regards to an arrest made in Mickey Shunick Case:

The Lafayette Police Department would like to extend its appreciation to the Shunick Family, all of the law enforcement agencies involved in this investigation, countless volunteers, private business entities, and the public that have assisted in the search and continue to be there as this investigation remains ongoing. I must caution all of you that although an arrest has been made in this case, much work remains to be done.
Working with our Federal, State and local partners, the Lafayette Police Department has arrested Brandon Scott Lavergne and charged him with 1st Degree Murder and Aggravated Kidnapping. Lavergne is believed to be responsible for the disappearance of Michaela "Mickey" Shunick.
On May 19th of this year, the Shunick family reported Mickey's disappearance. She had not returned home, missed her brother's graduation from high school, had notified no one of her location, and did not respond to calls made to her cell phone.
On May 25, video evidence was discovered from an LCG facility that captured Mickey on her bike. Several vehicles were observed in the same video and broadcast to the public as vehicles of interest. All of the vehicles of interest were ruled out except for a white Chevrolet Z71 pickup. The driver as well as the vehicle was not ever identified nor did anyone come forward.
On May 26, Mickey's bike was located under the Whiskey Bay Bridge on I-10 with damage to the rear tire consistent with being struck by a vehicle.
On June 14, Investigators received information from a concerned citizen, regarding a white Z71 that may be involved in Mickey's disappearance. The vehicle in question was registered to Brandon Lavergne. Further investigation revealed that the truck was reported stolen in Montgomery County, Texas and later located in San Jacinto County, Texas on May 31st. The truck had been burned just days after police released photographs of the truck as a vehicle of interest.
Based on information and surveillance detectives were able to positively identify the truck that traveled directly behind Mickey in the video as belonging to Brandon Lavergne. Investigators are also able to place Brandon Lavergne in and around the location of where the bicycle was located.
On Thursday, July 5, Louisiana State Police conducted a traffic stop on Lavergne near the intersection of I-10 and I-49. He was arrested on an unrelated warrant and transported to the Lafayette Police Department.
During questioning at Lafayette PD, Lavergne requested an attorney and has refused to cooperate any further with the investigation. At that time, he was additionally charged with the aggravated kidnapping and murder of Mickey Shunick.
This has been a very difficult ordeal for the Shunick Family and we thank them for their continuous cooperation, encouragement, and support in our attempts to determine what happened to Mickey. We want the family to know that we will not rest until we can fully know what happened to her. We continue our efforts to locate and bring Mickey home.
This type of case can overwhelm one agency. A tremendous amount of time, equipment, and resources have been put into this investigation. I would be remiss in my duties if I did not acknowledge and thank all of the agencies and private businesses that have been with us from day one of this case: LPSO, ULPD, Lafayette City Marshal's Office, LSP, SMSO, SLSO, Iberia SO, Iberville SO, East Baton Rouge SO, Acadia SO, Patterson PD, FBI, US Marshal's Service, LSP Crime Lab, Acadian Crime Lab, C & C Technologies, and Holbrook Media. It is these types of partnerships that have made an arrest possible in this matter.
I will take questions at this time but I want to caution you that because the investigation is on-going, there is a lot of information that we will not be able to divulge or discuss.
###

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2 years ago

Lavergne Appears For First Hearing Today

Today Brandon Scott Lavergne appeared before Commissioner Thomas Fredericks for his first hearing. He has been charged with aggravated kidnapping and 1st degree murder in Mickey Shunick's disappearance.

The whole hearing was done via video feed from the Lafayette Parish Courthouse and Lafayette Parish Correctional Center. Lavergne was brought in wearing handcuffs and also wearing a green full body bad. According to sheriffs deputies, this was worn to protect him from attacks from other inmates. He is also being held ina private cell away from the general population of inmates.

The following is the entire hearing.

Commissioner Thomas Fredericks - "Brandon Scott Lavergne?"

Brandon Scott Lavergne - "Yes sir."

Commissioner - "Mr. Lavergne, do you still live at 143 Elaine Lane in Church Point?"

Lavergne - "Yes sir."

Commissioner - "What's your date of birth?"

Lavergne - "January of 79."

Commissioner - "What is it?"

Lavergne - "January 8th of 79... 1979"

Commissioner - "79?"

Lavergne - "Yes sir."

Commissioner - "You're being held on two original arrest warrants. One is aggravated kidnapping. Bail in that amount is set at $250,000, and the second charge is for first degree murder and you're being withheld bond in that matter. Do you have a lawyer?"

Lavergne - "No I don't sir."

Commissioner - "Can you afford a lawyer?"

Lavergne - "Not in a case like this sir."

Commissioner - "Excuse me?"

Lavergne - "No sir."

Commissioner - "OK. I'm referring you to the public defenders office."

Lavergne has been assigned Clay Lejeune and Burleigh Doga as his public defenders.

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2 years ago

New timeline of events from Mickey's disappearance

New timeline in Mickey Shunick's disappearance

May 18, 2012, 10:15 p.m. : Mickey and friends attended a concert at Artmosphere.

May 19, 2012, 12:44 a.m. : Mickey rides bike back to Ryan Street residence with a friend.

May 19, 2012, 1:24 a.m.: Mickey seen in surveillance video at Taco Bell.

May 19, 2012, 1:31 a.m.: Mickey receives a call from her friend; it was the last time her phone was used.

May 19, 2012, 1:45 a.m.: Mickey begins to ride her bike home from the Ryan Street residence.

May 19, 2012, 1:47 a.m. : Mickey is caught on camera, riding her bike, on Versailles Boulevard.

May 19, 2012, 1:48 a.m.: Mickey is caught on camera, riding her bike, on St. Landry Street. Police say between St. Landry and Blackham Coliseum, Lavergne allegedly kidnapped Mickey. Her bike's damage is consistent with being hit from behind by a vehicle.

May 19, 2012, 6:30 p.m.: Mickey's family reports her missing to police.

May 20, 2012 : The first search party is organized.

May 25, 2012: The video surveillance photos were released to the public.

May 26, 2012: Mickey's bike was located under the Whiskey Bay Bridge.

May 31, 2012: Lafayette Police say Lavergne's truck was found burned in San Jacinto County, TX.

June 14, 2012: Lafayette Police get the tip the white truck of interest was found burned in Texas. Lafayette Police say it's Lavergne's truck.

July 5, 2012: State Police stop Lavergne on a traffic stop in a new white truck and arrest him on a warrant related to registering as a sex offender. He's also booked on first degree murder and kidnapping charges. Police say he is not cooperating.

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2 years ago

Mickey Shunick news conference; suspect not cooperating with police

During a news conference, Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft said evidence shows Brandon Scott Lavergne's truck was in the Whiskey Bay area where Mickey Shunick's bicycle was found on May 26. Lavergne, a registered sex offender, is charged with first degree murder and aggravated kidnapping. Aggravated kidnapping constitutes a charge of first degree murder, according to Craft. State Police pulled over Lavergne on July 5th near I-49 and I-10, and he was arrested on an unrelated warrant related to sex offender registration. Lavergne requested an attorney and has since refused to cooperate with the police investigation.

On June 14, police were tipped off about a white truck possibly involved in Mickey Shunick's disappearance. Police say Lavergne's truck, a white Chevy pickup truck, was found burned in San Jacinto County, TX. It was reported stolen in Montgomery County, TX, but the chief wouldn't say whether Lavergne was the person who reported it stolen. Since early in the investigation, detectives have been looking for a person of interest and a white pickup seen on video surveillance in the same area where Shunick was last seen on her bicycle. The truck was seen traveling directly behind her and Lavergne was identified as the driver, said Craft. When Lavergne was arrested yesterday, he was in a new, white Chevy pickup truck. "We continue today with our efforts to locate and bring Mickey home," he said.

Lavergne has been offshore for the last two weeks. Police believe Mickey was taken between St. Mary Street and the Blackham Coliseum, and Lavergne may have been riding around, looking for someone to victimize that night. Police wouldn't indicate if there were signs of a struggle or why they believe Mickey is dead. There's still no word on Mickey's location, and there is no apparent relationship between Lavergne and Mickey. Evidence indicates her bike was hit from behind by a vehicle.

Agencies that have helped in the investigation include sheriff's offices in Lafayette, St. Martin, St. Landry, Iberia, Acadia, East Baton Rouge and Iberville Parishes. Also assisting: UL Lafayette Police, Louisiana State Police, Patterson Polie, the U.S. Marshal's Service, Lafayette City Marshal and the FBI. Chief Craft gave special thanks to C & C Technologies for its work in searching waters and Holbrook Media.

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2 years ago

Active Scene in Mickey Shunick Case

There is still an active scene going on in Lawtell in the case of Mickey Shunick. The Lafayette Police Department and St. Landry Parish Sheriff's Office are still at the home of Brandon Scott Lavergne, who is being charged with 1st Degree Murder and Aggravated Kidnapping in connection with the disappearance of Mickey Shunick.

2 years ago

Burned out white pickup truck found in Texas

Deputies in San Jacinto County in Texas tell us they found a burned out pick-up truck in their county on June 14th. They tell us Lafayette Police are investigating it in relation to Mickey Shunick's disappearance. San Jacinto County is approximately an hour's drive north from Houston, Tx.

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2 years ago

Billboard goes up following arrest in Shunick case

This billboard is on Foreman Drive in Lafayette at the Corner Pantry Grocery Store. Brandon Lavergne is facing a charge of first degree murder and kidnapping in connection with the disappearance of Mickey Shunick. KATC will be airing a police press conference on TV and online at 1:00 pm today.

2 years ago

Volunteers React To Arrest in Shunick Case

It was a day that started out like any other day at the Mickey Shunick Volunteer Center. That all changed when news came out that an arrest had been made in the case.

"This is a big day for us. This has been a long 47 days," Volunteer Margaret Bearb said.

People were getting the news through Facebook, phone calls and text messages. Bearb placed a prayer in a box a couple of days ago and attributes this news partially to prayer.

"That was I think the biggest moment. That feeling today when I got that phone call was because that petition was in there and it came true," Bearb said.

This evening will be one that volunteers say will be very difficult. The news of the arrest has them all very anxious for the 1 p.m. press conference.

"It's probably going to be a little bit frustrating you know just waiting. Probably a little bit of a sleepless night for a few of us," Volunteer and friend Ashley Says said.

A brand new YouTube video was also posted today to keep hope alive for Mickey. It's called "Calling All Angels." Beard says this video about a call to angels also led to the call that she received today.

"It went out, and no sooner then that thing went on to YouTube today is when we got the call," Bearb said.

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2 years ago

Lavergne arrested on first degree murder charge

The warrant for Brandon Lavergne is for 1st degree murder and Aggravated Kidnapping. Right now, deputies in St. Landry are searching his home. Lafayette Police Cpl. Paul Mouton confirms Lavergne's murder and kidnapping charges are connected to Mickey Shunick's case. This is the only information he'll confirm, and he'll release more information during a 1:00 news conference tomorrow. KATC's partner, The Daily Advertiser, was able to get a copy of the arrest affidavit. The report indicates the 33-year-old man was arrested at his Church Point home at 5:45 p.m. Police say Lavergne cooperated with police and his cell phone was seized. Judge Castle signed the warrant for the arrest today. No bond has been set. The affidavit is attached to this story.

Lavergne affidavit.pdf

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2 years ago

1:00 pm press conference to air live

KATC will carry the press conference from the Lafayette Police Department live at 1:00 p.m., Friday afternoon. We'll also stream it on katc.com for those of you not able to be in front of a television.

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2 years ago

Sheriff confirms arrest connected to Mickey Shunick case

The mobile home being searched in Church Point is the address of Brandon Scott Lavergne, 33, who has been arrested in connection with the Mickey Shunick case, according to St. Landry Parish Sheriff Bobby Guidroz. This afternoon, Lafayette Police arrested Lavergne in Lafayette then notified the St. Landry Parish Sheriff's Office about a search warrant to be executed at 143 Elaine Rd., according to St. Landry Parish Sheriff's Office spokesperson Megan Vizena. Crime scene tape is surrounding the mobile home which is located at 143 Elaine Rd.

Lavergne's address is listed at 143 Elaine Rd. on the St. Landry Parish Sex Offender website. Lavergne is a registered sex offender and was convicted in 2000 of aggravated oral sexual battery. According to the website, he drives a white 2011 Chevrolet Silverado. Investigators have been looking for a person of interest seen on video surveillance driving a white Chevy Z-71.

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2 years ago

Home searched in Lawtell area, possibly connected to Mickey Shunick case

Sheriff Bobby Guidroz says Lafayette Police asked his office for assistance in searching a residence in the Lawtell area. Guidroz won't confirm or deny it is in connection with the Mickey Shunick case, only saying that they are working with police on a major crime that happened in Lafayette. Guidroz said more information will be given at the 1:00 pm press conference on Friday. However, Lafayette Police have told us the 1:00 pm press conference is to speak about the arrest in the Mickey Shunick case.

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2 years ago

Arrest made in Mickey Shunick's disappearance

An arrest has been made in Mickey Shunick's disappearance, according to Lafayette Police Dept. Cpl. Paul Mouton. Police are not releasing any more information until a news conference tomorrow. The conference is tentatively scheduled at 1:00.

2 years ago

Mickey Shunick's Mother Speaks One Month After Daughter's Disappearance

"Well I have a brief statement to Mickey just...in case."

With her daughter Charlene by her side, Nancy Shunick made a heartfelt statement to Mickey, and to those who may know of her whereabouts.

Nancy Shunick said, "We look for you everyday. Your friends look for you everyday. Hundreds and thousands of strangers have come from all over the state, from surrounding states, from all across the country. They've looked for you on foot, on atv, on horses, with dogs, with boats, and we will keep looking until we find you. Stay calm, stay strong, stay smart, and we will not stop looking."

On a night like any other here in Lafayette, Mickey Shunick was last seen riding her bike. Now, that night, at least for the Shunick family, has lasted a month. And mom Nancy is ready for answers.

"We haven't been told anything. It's not like C.S.I. I don't think 6 people stand around and the machine 'dings' and it tells you it's John Smith from Anytown," says Shunick.

As that monthlong "day" grows ever longer, all Nancy can do is hope for Mickey's safe return.

"If she could come home she would, because...all her animals are waiting for her. They're all hungry and they need some love. And only 'Mickey Love' will do.

---Alex Labat, KATC

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2 years ago

Family and Friends of Mickey Shunick are Keeping Search Efforts Alive

New flyers are going up all over Lafayette as Mickey Shunick's family and friends refuse to let her face be forgotten. It's been a month since Mickey Shunick was last seen and three weeks since police found any evidence leading to her whereabouts. Since then, there have been no new leads.
Volunteers are still tirelessly making flyers, selling bracelets and T-shirts, and using social media to get the word out.

"I've never seen anything like it before with so many people getting together to help out," said Suzanne Ortego.

Ortego doesn't know Mickey, but as a mother of three, she can only imagine what the family is going through.

"We can't let her be forgotten. We can't stop the search. The family needs our support," said Ortego.

Ortego grabbed some flyers and plans on passing them out to everyone she sees.

"I can't go out on a search in a wheelchair, but I can go out and pass some flyers," she added.

Even though the new headquarters are smaller that hasn't stopped people from coming in to help.

"We're stronger than ever. Really, we're more focused and we're more organized than we've ever been before," said Josh Coen.

Family, friends, and volunteers that refuse to give up.

"It's love. The love for our friend and the love for each other and we're going to keep doing it and keep strong," said Coen.

If you want to help the search effort, the new headquarters is located on 2811 Johnston Street in the shopping center where Lafayette Lanes is located. Volunteers will be there weekdays from 8:30 to 5:30 and weekends from 10 to 2.

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2 years ago

HQ for Mickey Shunick Search Moves

The new headquarters for those looking to help find Mickey Shunick is at 2811 Johnston Street. It's located in the same shopping mall as Lafayette Bowling Lanes and Twins Bakery. You can go by there if you want to pick up fliers to distribute, donate funds, or just be a positive energy for friends and family.

The volunteer foot searches have been temporarily halted until new leads are developed.

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2 years ago

As Searches Wind Down, Mickey's Mom Says They're Not Giving Up Hope

For the Shunick family, it's been an agonizing three weeks. KATC sat down with Mickey's mother, Nancy Rowe, Sunday afternoon.

"It's literally hellish, we want to know, we want her back. If she's still alive, no matter what's happened, you know we can handle that. If not, we'll handle that too," said Nancy, tearing up at the thought.

Sunday was the last day for volunteers at Blackham Coliseum, and 120 people headed out to search for Mickey. They won't hold another search like this again, unless new evidence surfaces.

"We want to close the doors here but we want to have the other doors open, so that way there's no closure. We want Mickey to know that we are still here for her and that we're not giving up the search," said Margaret Bearb, a volunteer organizer.

Bearb said Landry Properties donated vacant office space for the new volunteer headquarters. She said the new location will offer a more profession, stream lined approach to search efforts, that's still open to the public.

The smaller, more organized volunteer team will continue the search for Mickey through social media, printing fliers and selling t-shirts from the new office. All donated supplies will also be kept there on stand by.

"There's food and water and supplies, insect repellant, machetes, people will go out again and they'll look again, and we won't stop until we find her," said Nancy.

Nancy said the overwhelming community support is what's kept her family going. She's hopeful Mickey is still alive, and they won't rest until she's found.

"That's a lot of power, you know, to heal a family with one phone call or a note, they could put us all right back together again. So they need to do that," said Nancy.

The new volunteer center is located in the South College Shopping Center, 2811 Johnston Street. The smaller volunteer team will start the move Monday. You're still welcome to go pick up fliers or get information there, however food and supply donations are no longer needed.

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2 years ago

Owner of McGee's Landing Sets the Record Straight

At McGee's Landing in Henderson, owner David Allemond chats it up with customers and visits with family. Allemond is also dispelling rumors that his son is in some way involved in the Mickey Shunick case.

"We haven't been questioned, and I have no son of age to be driving or doing any crimes of that nature."

McGee's landing, a tourist destination shares it's name with a man who police interviewed in the Mickey Shunick case. If that's not enough, a psychic in Washington posted on an online forum a picture of McGee's Landing....an unknown place to Shellee Hale, but she felt a connection to a lighthouse near the building. Her inkling has since caused some people to assume the Allemond's are linked to Mickey's disappearance, and for that Hale is apologetic.

"I am sincerely sorry to that family for this, but I cant be responsible for the behaviors of people who are acting irrational. I don't know who they are but that is completely inappropriate and out of line and I would never intentionally try to instigate anything like that."

Every day Allemond is mistaken for the father of the man police questioned. That man was one of many people questioned.

Even though Alleman denies any direct involvement, he says his family is involved in the search for Mickey Shunick.

"We're doing everything we can, putting out posters and information and things of that nature. I've allowed people to come in here and launch and go out there and look to see what they could find."

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2 years ago

Special K-9's Help in Mickey Search, Final Volunteer Effort This Weekend

At first there were concerns the body found in Bay St. Louis could have been Mickey Shunick. But the family ruled that out early Friday, saying Mickey does not have any of the body piercings found on that female body.

"It's not my sister, so we need to keep searching, it's not Mickey," said Mickey's sister, Charlie Shunick.

After a brief scare, hope remains that Mickey is out there, alive and will be found. Charlie said volunteers will give one more push this weekend in the ground searches for her sister.

"I know she's still out there, we got to find her, something good is coming soon. So we just need people to, let's get a big rush, get everything knocked out so we can start looking other places, like we need those foot soldiers out here," she said.

Meanwhile, six highly trained dogs from Special K-9's Rescue and Recovery Group out of Texas scoured more areas in the Atchafalaya Basin

"Our primary goal is to clear certain areas, so that people on the ground won't have to cover them," said spokesperson Mike Candella.

The dogs covered 10 miles on land and completed four water searches with their trainers. Though the dogs didn't turn up any forensic evidence, the team hopes they helped rule out areas near Whiskey Bay.

The Shunick family said volunteer searches will be temporarily suspended after Sunday until they get new information on where to search. The family said they've exhausted all possibilities at this point.

Anyone who wants to help search this weekend should go to Blackham Coliseum between 8:00am and 4:00pm Saturday and Sunday.

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2 years ago

Body floated ashore in MS after 2-3 days in the water

There's no word yet on the identity of the body found in Bay St. Louis on Thursday. Investigators say there were several body piercings found on the torso, but they do not match those of Mickey Shunick. The piercings were in the nipples and navel; Mickey's sister says she was pierced in the ears, nose, and had a lip ring at one time.

An autopsy was underway Friday morning on the remains. Officials hope to have an identity later today.

Hancock County authorities said the torso appears to be that of a white female in her late teens or early 20s. They aren't sure if the limbs were intentionally removed. The woman was stabbed once in the chest.

The torso was found near Bay Oaks Drive in Bay St. Louis where crews are working on the county's beach replenishment project. Officials investigate the body had been in the water two to three days .

Three young women from the Gulf South area are currently missing: Mickey Shunick from Lafayette, Jaren Lockhart from New Orleans and Brittany Nicole Wood from Alabama.

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2 years ago

Body in Bay St. Louis not Mickey Shunick

According to Mickey Shunick's family, law enforcement confirms the body found in Bay St. Louis is not Mickey Shunick. The torso has three piercings - one in each nipple and the navel. Mickey does not have any of the piercings similar to those found on the body recovered from Bay St. Louis, said Charlie. piercings, according to her sister, Charlie.

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2 years ago

Private Investigator: Strong Lead on Suspects in Mickey Shunick Case

It's now 19 days since Mickey Shunick disappeared while riding her bike home. In the week that followed, surveillance video of Mickey and her bike both surfaced. But those were the only two leads in the case, until now.

The private investigator, hired by an anonymous donor, said that there may be two credible suspects in the case. John Abdella said he received two separate tips that seem to describe the same person.

Abdella said the first tip came in four or five days ago, describing possible suspects. Then a few days later, another tip. Both were from separate sources who don't know each other.

"And their description was almost identical," said Abdella.

Abdella believes the sources are solid and this could lead the investigation in the right direction.

"They appear to be very credible and they appear to be very knowledgeable," explained Abdella. "And I thought it was more than coincidental that both of their descriptions were the same."

For Mickey's family, solid information is welcome news as they try and stay focused on finding their loved one.

"Everything we are doing, everything that's going on here, everything people are doing is to find Mickey, it has nothing to do with anything else. Our goal is to find my sister. And all these rumors that are going around, all this stuff, we found her body, these people admitted to doing this here, it's just not doing any good at all," said Charlie Shunick.

For the Shunicks and investigators the case is far from cold.

"Oh not by a long shot. it's a very active investigation," said Abdella. "And I think the police are very, very active, they are putting in a lot of man power, they're spending a lot of overtime."

"So hopefully it takes us somewhere in the next couple of days," said Charlie about the lead.

Charlie said they remain positive and still in need of volunteers to help search for signs of Mickey.

Abdella said he's meeting with law enforcement about the possible lead and that he isn't releasing any more details about the suspects' descriptions to avoid hindering the investigation.

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2 years ago

Private investigator says new developments in Mickey Shunick disappearance

The private investigator tracking Mickey Shunick's disappearance says he has credible information about two people who could be involved in her disappearance. John Abdella says two people who don't know each other called him with almost identical descriptions. The calls were made days apart, and he believes something good will come out of this. Abdella is not releasing the descriptions. He'll notify police first.

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2 years ago

Independent Team Joins Search for Mickey

The new search team in town has decided to stay totally independent of the main Mickey Shunick volunteer search.

Special K-Nines Recovery Specialist arrived in Lafayette to help aid in the search. At this point they have decided not to communicate with the main Mickey search. Instead they are choosing to search on their own terms. They currently do not want to speak to the media. This new team has dogs that specialize in recovering cadavers and evidence.

"They are kind of doing their own thing. We aren't quite sure where they are searching," Family Spokesperson Christina Silvetti said.

EquuSearch was supposed to come back today but they were called to help with a drowning in another state. They do plan on coming back to help, but as of now they don't know when that will be.

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2 years ago

Two Search Teams Looking for Shunick

EquuSearch only left for a short time but they will be returning Wednesday to continue the search for Mickey Shunick.

There is also a new company in town that will also be aiding in the investigation. Special K-9s Recovery Specialist are in town and will be getting to work tomorrow morning. They specialize in evidence recovery and forensics. Their dogs can actually distinguish the difference between an animals body or a humans; and are also trained to search water, land, ash, and also vehicles.

This team volunteered their services to help find Mickey Schunick.

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2 years ago

Timeline of the search for Mickey Shunick

Mickey Shunick

This is a full timeline of events from the day Mickey Shunick disappeared, up to the very latest information we know.

May 18, 2012: 10:15 pm: Mickey arrived at music venue and bar, Artmosphere, to see a band and hang out with friends.
"After about like an hour or two of being there she already started making mention of being ready to go home, getting something to eat," explained friend Brettly Wilson.

May 19, 2012: 12:44 am: Mickey and Wilson left Artmosphere and rode their bikes back to his house on Ryan Street. They then went to Taco Bell on Congress in his car to grab a bite to eat. Video surveillance confirmed this, showing them in the drive through at 1:24 am.
1:31 am: Mickey received a call from a friend. It was the last time her phone was used. Wilson said around 1:45 am Mickey set out on her bike to go home near Congress Street and Ambassador Caffrey from his home at 100 Ryan St.

"She checked her bike, took out her mace, made sure it was on. I walked her out, watched her get to the drive way then I closed the door and locked it," recalled Wilson.

At approximately 1:47 am she's caught on camera on Versailles Blvd traveling towards St. John Street. She then traveled on St. John Street and crossed over University Avenue, continuing west on St. Landry Street where she was captured on video at approximately 1:48 am. It's not uncommon that she would ride her bike home late at night. It was her primary means of transportation and according to her friends always carried mace. Later in the day, she never showed up to brother's graduation and that's when family and friends started to become worried. They called police to report her missing at 6:30 p.m. Police put her in the missing person's national database and began interviewing neighbors in the Ryan Street area.

She is 5'1" tall, weighing about 115 pounds, has shoulder length curly blonde hair and blue eyes. She has a small tattoo of a bicycle on her right outer ankle and a nose ring on her left nostril.
She was last seen wearing a pastel multicolored striped shirt, light wash denim skinny jeans, and silver ankle boots. She was also carrying a light brown leather backpack, a black and yellow Vera Bradley wallet, a black Verizon slider phone and a small pink container of pepper spray.

May 20, 2012: The first search party of more than 100 people is organized to search the area by Shunick's friends and family. They start posting missing persons fliers all over her predicted bike route. Also a private donor not only hired a private investigator, but donated $10,000 for information leading to Shunick being found. Police declare a missing persons case and start the investigation.

May 21, 2012: More volunteers show up at 100 Ryan St. leaving donations, supplies, or offering to help search the city for evidence. The FBI and State Police also offer their services to aid Lafayette PD in the investigation.

"One of the difficult tasks is because of where she left the Saint Street area, to the destination where we believe she was traveling to. It's such a large area. It's a very wide scope for us to look at. We're canvasing and checking a lot of different businesses for video evidence," Corporal Paul Mouton said.

Police also open up a tip line that is staffed 24/7 for people to call. A youtube video is posted highlighting her disappearance by BikeLafayette and gets thousands of views.

Today also happens to be Mickey's 22nd birthday.

May 22, 2012: The $10,000 reward is raised to $20,000 hoping to entice someone to speak up. Mickey's story is also reaching national media outlets and that evening a tribute at Parc Sans Souci saw hundreds of people come out in support of Mickey and her family. Over the past four days more than 750 people have volunteered their time to search for Mickey and clues into her disappearance.

"We're a mess," said Mickey's mom Nancy Rowe. "We try to stay together out in public and then we go home and fall apart."

May 23, 2012: More than 70 officers across different agencies are working the case. A solidarity bike ride was also organized that mickey's bikerode the path that Mickey may have taken. According to organizer Brettly Wilson, the ride was organized for bicyclists to show solidarity in the effort to find one of their own. Wilson also says the bike ride is for search supporters to "take back the road." At this point none of Shunick's belongings have been found nor any evidence to her whereabouts. The reward for clues leading to Mickey is increased and capped at $25,000. Lamar Advertising Company has donated billboards that display Mickey's picture all along the Gulf Coast.

May 24, 2012: Volunteer headquarters are moved from 100 Ryan St. to Our Lady of Wisdom Center on the U-L campus. EquuSearch, a Texas based company, is brought in to coordinate and lead search activity. Police are asking businesses to check survelliance tapes from May 19th from 1:30 a.m. to 3:30 a.m. hoping to catch a glimpse of Mickey. A new website www.findmickeynow.com starts up.

May 25, 2012: Police begin daily media briefings at 3 p.m. At this point no articles of signifcance have been found. Searches by plane and helicopter haven't turned up anything. During the evening police released survelliance video of Mickey caught riding her bike along Versailles Blvd toward St. John Street, crossed University and continued on St. Landry Street.

Picture of Mickey on Versailles Blvd at 1:47 a.m.:

mickey on her bike on versailles

Picture of a white truck caught on camera around the same time Mickey was riding. Police want to question the driver of this truck:

white truck driver wanted for questioning

Picture of Mickey at 1:48 a.m. on St. Landry:

The same night we aired these pictures, a Lafayette woman came forward saying she had been approached by a man in a white truck two months ago. He asked if she needed a ride, which she accepted, and the entire ride he was asking her for sex in return for money. She was dropped off with out incident. It is not none if these situations are related.

May 26, 2012: Police release photos of two additional vehicles in the vicinity that Mickey was caught on tape, and also a better photo of the one on the orginial truck.

Another picture of the orignial truck of interest:

Another truck of interest released. It is a Chevy Z-71 that was going in the same direction Mickey was traveling on St. Landry:

Another vehicle of interest. It is an 80's or 90's 4 door vehicle with body work on the rear right quarter panel.

The Vermilion River is also given a thorough search with the aid of volunteer boats and the sheriffs department. "The river length in Lafayette Parish is rather large, so we're going to continue to go up and down the waterway and continue to search and support any of the searchers that are out here in case they run into any problems," Captain Kip Judice said.

The Volunteer Search Center was also moved to it's current location at Blackham Coliseum.

May 27, 2012: Mickey's bike is found under the Whiskey Bay Bridge on I-10 near exit 127. Two fishermen saw the bike partially submerged and notified police. Police have expanded the search to that area.

"I'm relieved her bike was found and she wasn't. That means she is still alive somewhere. They dumped her bike at the exit so that means she is still somewhere alive," said volunteer Lindsey Wills.

The bike was found to be submerged except for a small section of the frame. In addition, the bike's rear tire was found to be damaged.

May 28, 2012: Police say they believe Shunick's disappearance is isolated despite being asked by other agencies to investigate whether Mickey's disappearance could be related to a crime in their area. Investigators are also checking with known sex offenders in the area where Shunick was captured on surveillance riding her bicycle, finding out where they were when Mickey went missing. The search and Whiskey Bay was called off with no more evidence found. Schunick' s bike has been sent to a crime lab for tests.

May 29, 2012: According to police they are still following up on "thousands of leads." They have also found other items of interest but do not say what they have found.

May 30, 2012: Police have ruled out the white 4 door pick up and the passenger car. They are still waiting to question the driver of the Chevy Z-71 (one of the vehicles released on 5/26/2012).

EquuSearch continues to lead searches from Blackham Coliseum.

A secondary search was done at Whiskey Bay when a sonar image, in the area where Mickey Shunick's bike was found, showed something that could have had relevance to Shunick case. A dive team was then called out to search the waters. It turns out that the image seen was actually some sort of wooden item, possibly a log of some sort. No evidence was found relating to the Mickey Shunick Case tonight.

Volunteer searches were suspended today, so they could have a day to re-group and rest.

June 1, 2012: Starting at 7:00 p.m., an answering machine will record all tips called into the Lafayette Police Dept. in the Mickey Shunick case, however detectives will continue to answer phones during normal business hours Monday through Friday. "The number of tips received by the Lafayette Police Department has decreased and it is no longer feasible to answer the tips line 24 hours a day," said Cpl. Paul Mouton. During weekends and after hours, investigators will periodically check messages.

After eight days, Texas EquuSearch leaves Lafayette since no new leads have been discovered since the bike was found. They vow to come back if new evidence is found.

June 5, 2012: A new search group out of Texas arrives in town with plans to start searching with their K9 team in the morning.

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2 years ago

Acadiana Nascar driver posts Mickey's picture on car

Acadiana's own Buster Graham, is planning to have Mickey Shunick's picture on the hood of his car during the ARCA Racing Series next week at Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania.

"When my 18 year old daughter mentioned supporting the rescue efforts for Mickey, I knew it was the right thing to do", says Graham. "My family and I want to do anything we can to help, and we hope this exposure will share Mickey's story on a national media outlet during the race."

Next weeks race at Pocono Raceway will be broadcasted on the Speed Network with 4.8 million viewers expected to tune in to the race.

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2 years ago

The Status of the Search

Equusearch, the Texas based company, which has been helping out--is no longer directly involved.
The group moving on to help in the search for another missing person over in Mississippi.
Founder and director of EquuSearch Tim Miller told us that his team only operates in an area as long as there are viable clues and leads coming in.
Since there have been no big breaks since last weekend---when Mickey's bicycle was found--Miller and his team felt that their presence was no longer needed.
But, if there are any new clues as to the whereabouts of Mickey Shunick, they'll be back in Lafayette.
Tim Miller isn't hesitant to make multiple trips.
"I mean this search for Mickey is far being over. For an example, I went to Aruba nine different times on Natalie Holloway. Well, Lafayette's a lot closer to Houston than Aruba."
Charlene Shunick knows if the family needs EquuSearch, they are just a phone call away.

"So they're going to go back to Houston, it's like a two hour plane ride from here. As soon as they get another lead they're going to come back. But they have other things that they can be doing at this point that they can't be doing here."
The family still very optimistic--they say they had a great turnout at Blackham Colosseum today for continued volunteer searches.
If you want to help them---Blackham Colliseum is the place to go. The Shunick family says they are in need of both volunteers, and anyone with access to a boat for searches on the water.

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2 years ago

EquuSearch Suspends Search Efforts

For eight days Texas EquuSearch helped the Shunick Family try to find answers as to where Mickey could be.

But Tim Miller and his team are now leaving, since there have been no new leads since Mickey's bike was discovered.

Miller can't stay in one place for too long, because his work is never done.

"We've got one in Meridian Mississippi that we're going to be going up on...it never ends."

EquuSearch searched both the land and water, using sonar equipment from both in and out of state. Even though Texas EquuSearch is leaving, they're leaving behind the hope that Mickey Shunick could be found."

Tim Miller knows the dangers of giving up on a case.

"I gave up on Elizabeth Smart, and guess what Elizabeth was certainly found alive. And so we'll hold on to that small, little sliver of hope."

Charlie Shunick hopes that volunteer efforts will ramp up now that EquuSearch is saying goodbye.

"We need footsoldiers, we need volunteers coming here doing things for us, we still need lots of food donations and everything so anything people can do like that would be awesome."

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2 years ago

LPD scales back manned hours on Mickey Shunick tips line

Starting tonight at 7:00, an answering machine will record all tips called into the Lafayette Police Dept. in the Mickey Shunick case, however detectives will continue to answer phones during normal business hours Monday through Friday. "The number of tips received by the Lafayette Police Department has decreased and it is no longer feasible to answer the tips line 24 hours a day," said Cpl. Paul Mouton. During weekends and after hours, investigators will periodically check messages.

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2 years ago

Day 12 in Search for Mickey, Family's Spirits Lifted by Youngest Volunteers

With volunteer searches for Mickey Shunick back up Thursday, after a day off, there seemed to be a renewed sense of hope at the volunteer headquarters at Blackham Coliseum. Even though no new evidence surfaced Thursday, Mickey's sister, Charlie Shunick, said she is confident her sister is out there and that they will find her soon. Charlie said her spirits are high, thanks in part to the continued community support.

A few search parties came and went Thursday, picking right back up where they left off.

"We just want to make sure people know we still need search volunteers, foot soldiers is what they're saying. So we need people getting out there, getting muddy and searching for my sister," said Charlie.

Charlie said she is still hopeful, and finds strength in the smallest of volunteers, like six-year-old Jack Stansbury.

"Well he just said that he wanted to give this (stuffed animal) to me because he named it Charlie and he thought it would help me through this and so "Tee" Charlie's been with me since then," said Charlie.

Jack can't go out and search, and may not fully grasp the situation, but he knew a family was in trouble and he wanted to help. So he offered his dog little Charlie to Mickey's sister Charlie.

"It's from his heart, that's how a lot of children are feeling just something from their heart," said Denise Stansbury.

Children at the Little Paintbrush made dozens butterflies with messages to Mickey and her family that read, "we love you Mickey," and "we miss you." The children made the butterflies for the same reason Jack gave away Charlie, "to make her feel better," said Jack.

And that it does, Charlie carries him around wherever she goes. She told Jack she would give Tee Charlie back when Mickey came home.

"It's good to have it, it reminds me about all the positivity going on around here," she said.

Charlie and the other volunteers said that's the key to these search efforts, staying positive and being persistent to bring Mickey home. The searches are back in full force and volunteers are needed. You can meet at Blackham Coliseum every day starting at 8:00 am, search teams will go out throughout the day, with the last group leaving at 4:00 pm.

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2 years ago

Volunteer searches for Mickey Schunick are back in full swing

There's confusion whether volunteers are still needed to search for Mickey Shunick. Volunteers are hoping efforts get back on track. Fewer people showed up to help in the search. Some people thought volunteers were no longer needed, but the search was suspended one day only.
"We put a suspension on it to give people a day to just relax and gather themselves," said Volunteer Jessie Eyster.
Volunteers are still needed. since the confusion, the number of volunteers has significantly dropped.
"We hope to get back into the swing" said Eyster. "We hope that more volunteers will come, and hopefully in the weekend when people are off they'll be able to volunteer more of their time and come and do a search."
On average 45 search parties go out everyday, but because of the confusion only 8 groups went out.
"You know do at least one search because I know it can be hard," said Eyster.
Searches last about 3 hours and are held rain, or shine, every day until further notice.
"She's somebody's sister, and I mean, I'm definitely grateful that I was able to have time off to help with this cause," said Eyster. "Keep an open mind because we will find Mickey."

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2 years ago

Mickey Shunick: What you need to know today May 31, 2012

Volunteers are needed to help search for Mickey Shunick. A few crews went out this morning, but more are needed, said family spokesperson Christina Silvetti. Since volunteer searches were suspended yesterday only, there's some confusion as to whether volunteers are still needed. They are, and searches resumed this morning at 8:00. Volunteers are needed daily. Searches start at 8:00, and the last search party leaves Blackham Coliseum at 4:00 in the afternoon. Anyone who wants to volunteer should go to Blackham between 8:00 and 4:00. Searches will run daily.

Lafayette police detectives are regrouping after last night's search of Whiskey Bay turned up nothing. Investigators searched the area with sonar, and an image "sparked the operator's interest," said Cpl. Paul Mouton. Divers searched beneath the water and found a wooden item, perhaps a log. Investigators continue to look at evidence and check on tips and are hopeful Mickey's bike will turn up additional evidence. Her bike was found, Sunday, in water under the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge at the Whiskey Bay exit in Iberville Parish. The bike is being examined at the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab.

Police need help identifying the driver of a Chevrolet Z71 truck. The truck, a white 4 door, was seen on surveillance video traveling in the same direction of Mickey on St. Landry Street. Anyone with information that could help police in the search for Mickey should call the Tipline at 337-291-8633.

Another fundraiser, "Bike for Mickey" will be held on Thursday from 6:30-8:30 p.m. ‎The Body Factory is hosting the event to raise money, as well as to meditate for Mickey's return. The minimum donation is $5. Anyone who wants to ride should go to The Body Factory on Thursday.

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2 years ago

UPDATE: No evidence was found relating to the Mickey Shunick Case

A secondary search was being done at Whiskey Bay today when a sonar image, in the area where Mickey Shunick's bike was found, showed something that could have had relevance to Shunick case. A dive team was then called out to search the waters. It turns out that the image seen was actually some sort of wooden item, possibly a log of some sort. No evidence was found relating to the Mickey Shunick Case tonight.

2 years ago

No Type of Evidence in Whiskey Bay: 12:15AM Report

The latest from KATC reporter Jim Hummel, who is on scene at Whiskey Bay: Search is over...sonar image showed something in the water, potentially of interest but it turned out to NOT be any type of evidence.

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2 years ago

More potential evidence in Mickey Shunick disappearance

Lafayette Police confirm their mobile command unit is back out at Whiskey Bay tonight for a secondary search related to the Mickey Shunick case. Something was found in Whiskey Bay that has potential to be evidence, but police aren't talking specifics. Some of the agencies on the scene of where there could be potential evidence in Mickey Shunick's disappearance are Louisiana State Police, Lafayette Police, Lafayette Sheriff's Office and St. Martin Parish Sheriff's Office.

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2 years ago

The Mickey Shunick Fund

Money given to The Mickey Shunick Fund through Community Foundation of Acadiana could be used for reward money, public search efforts and expenses, like law enforcement agencies, Equusearch and other public entities. "The Foundation is grateful to have been entrusted with The Mickey Shunick Fund, established and directed by the Shunick family. The Foundation is additionally grateful to the many generous donors in the community that have made tax-deductible contributions to the Fund," said CFA Pres. and CEO Raymond Hebert. To make a tax-deductible contribution to The Mickey Shunick Fund, go to www.cfacadiana.org (see 'Contribute to a Fund') or call Community Foundation of Acadiana at 337.769.4843.

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2 years ago

Mickey Shunick: What you need to know today May 30, 2012

Lafayette Police have ruled out two vehicles of interest, but still need help finding the driver of one of the vehicles, a Z71 pickup truck. The Z-71 truck is the first picture of a vehicle Lafayette police released on Friday, May 25. The picture shows a white 4 door Chevrolet Z71 that traveled in the same direction of Mickey on St. Landry Street. A picture of the truck is the featured picture of this story. If you have information that could help police, call 337-291-8633.

Volunteer searches were suspended today and will resume tomorrow morning. Texas Equusearch Mounted Search and Recovery and law enforcement are searching previously searched areas trying to determine if they can retrace those areas using ATVs and horses. Volunteer searches will continue in the morning. Anyone who wants to help should report to Blackham Coliseum at 8:00 on Thursday, May 31. Searches start at 8:00 a.m. and end at 4:00 p.m.

Walk-Ons at 2336 Kaliste Saloom is having a fundraiser until midnight. Bands start playing at 6:00 p.m., and the restaurant is donating 10% of the proceeds from meals to help Mickey's family with any incidentals they may need. Organizers say you must show up with a Mickey Shunick flyer for a donation to count. Another fundraiser, "Bike for Mickey" will be held on Thursday from 6:30-8:30 p.m. ‎The Body Factory is hosting the event to raise money, as well as to meditate for Mickey's return. The minimum donation is $5. Anyone who wants to ride should go to The Body Factory on Thursday.

If anyone has information that could help investigators, call the tipline at 337-291-8633.

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2 years ago

Police rule out two vehicles of interest in Mickey Shunick case

Lafayette police have ruled out two vehicles of interest in Mickey Shunick's disappearance, but detectives still need information on the newer model white Z71 pickup truck. Detectives have identified the drivers and passengers in both the older 4-door car and the white 4-door pickup truck with the bed cover. "Investigators have ruled out any involvement by these individuals and they offered no additional clues for the investigation. Investigators continue to seek information on the newer model white Z71 pickup truck," said Cpl. Paul Mouton. The Z-71 truck is the first picture of a vehicle Lafayette police released on Friday, May 25. The picture shows a white 4 door Chevrolet Z71 that traveled in the same direction of Mickey on St. Landry Street. The truck and Shunick were captured on surveillance video. A picture of that truck is included in this story.

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2 years ago

Questions about where money raised by Find Mickey Now Campaign is going

Since volunteer searches are suspended, the Find Mickey Now Campaign is no longer asking for donations like food, drinks and materials.

Benefits already scheduled will still take place. Some donors have asked where the money is going. We asked that question today.

According to Mickey's sister, Charlene "Charlie" Shunick monetary donations are for expenses that arise for the family. They have not worked since Mickey went missing. Money also is used for search efforts like helicopter and fuel costs.

On the Find Mickey Now Facebook page, Charlie says the Community Foundation of Acadiana account "is used solely for the overtime of police officers, and additional search resources."

We reached out to representatives with the Find Mickey Campaign, but were unable to talk to anyone in charge of donations.

We were told that up until this point different aspects of donations and fundraising have been handled by several different people and therefore the family does not know exactly how much has been raised or how exactly it's being spread out.

Obviously, the Shunick family and friends have been dealing with a lot in these last two weeks. We're told they simply have not had a chance to organize the information. Spokeperson Christina Silvetti did say today that a local CPA has volunteered services to help in this effort.

Two funds have been set-up. One a bank account at Mid-South Bank under Charlene Shunick's name. The other is a fund set-up with the Community Foundation of Acadiana.

Charlie Shunick did say absolutely all money remaining in any of the donation accounts will be donated to non-profit organizations.

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2 years ago

Mickey Shunick media briefing: Bike found damaged

The only visible damage to the bike belonging to missing Lafayette woman Mickey Shunick was the rear tire, according to Lafayette Police Cpl. Paul Mouton. During a media briefing around 3:35 this afternoon, he said the rim was bent. Fishermen found the bike Sunday at the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge Whiskey Bay exit. Mouton said her bike was submerged in the water off the bank of the Atchafalaya Basin. "Detectives are hopeful that forensic experts can find evidence on the frame, handle bars and handgrips that were recovered at the scene," said Mouton.

Investigators believe the bike was dropped off and not thrown from the bridge. Also, they believe the bike was dumped the morning Shunick went missing. Mouton says hopefully a forensic examination at the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab will provide more specific information. Besides the bike, police have gathered other "items of interest," but are not naming those items.

As for three vehicles of interest, police have yet to identify the driver's of the vehicles. "We are following up on literally thousands of leads right now," Mouton said.
Police hope the drivers can provide more information about Shunick since they were in the same area when she was captured on surveillance video riding her bike early Saturday morning. "They are not suspects in this case," said Mouton. Click here for a description and picture of vehicles.

Authorities in Indiana contacted Lafayette police about the possibility of one of their missing persons cases being related to Shunick's case, but Mouton said they do not believe the cases are related. In fact, "a lot of law enforcement agencies have reached out about similar cases, but we've found no connections," according to Mouton. For that story, click here. Police believe Shunick's disappearance is isolated. Investigators are checking with known sex offenders in the area where Shunick was captured on surveillance riding her bicycle. They're finding out where the sex offenders were when Mickey went missing.

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2 years ago

KATC to Broadcast Shunick Media Briefing

KATC will broadcast the Lafayette Police Department's news briefing on the latest developments in the Mickey Shunick case live at 3:30. You can watch it on TV-3 or online at katc.com.

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2 years ago

Mickey Shunick's Family Speaks Out About Developments In Case

With big developments in the Mickey Shunick investigation over the weekend, her family is staying positive.

Sunday, fishermen found Mickey's bicycle beneath the Whiskey Bay I-10 bridge. Mickey's sister Charlie tells KATC the family believes it was dumped there by someone who still has Mickey.

"I think a lot of different things could have happened," said Charlie. "Someone made a mistake--hit her or picked her up or something or hurt her really bad and didn't come forward with it, it's hard to say."

Whatever the scenario, the family believes Mickey is alive. They have a plea for whoever might be holding her: "Drop her off at a hospital or a safe-have or at a busy street somewhere," said Charlie. "Someone will find her and bring her back to us and that's all we care about."

The discovery of Shunick's bicycle was the second big break over the weekend. Friday night, two separate surveillance videos surfaced from St. Landry Street and Versailles Boulevard in Lafayette, both featuring a bicyclist who the family has no doubt is Mickey.

"Her hair was pretty big and blonde and we have similar mannerisms, so as soon as I saw it, I knew that was my sister," said Charlie.

The Shunicks say they're staying strong by keeping involved in the volunteer effort to bring Mickey home. "We have to stay busy, I'm helpless," said Mickey's Dad, Tom. "Everyday life ended nine or ten days ago, now all we do is we get up and we hope to hear a phone call about something."

2 years ago

Police continue search of area where Mickey Shunick's bike was found, find no new evidence

Police began their search of the Whiskey Bay Bridge area this morning, but the investigation was called off around Noon after a thorough search of the area turned up no new evidence.

Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft says in a missing persons case it is assumed there may be some foul play involved.

"The longer the case goes on without her being located the slimmer the chances are of finding her ok, but we're still hopeful."

Craft says yesterday's efforts focused on processing the crime scene before today's search could begin. Multiple agencies have come out on this Memorial Day holiday leaving no stone unturned.

"The response, especially on a holiday weekend has been overwhelming. We have not been refused one resource we have requested."

Everything from ATV's, horses, air craft and water craft are being used in this search effort. Lafayette PD has even enlisted the help of departments as far south as Houma.

"All of those jurisdictions that the river travels through are cooperating and getting their vessels out on the water in search of any sign of Mickey."

Craft says so far they don't know if Mickey was ever in the area where her bike was found.

Police will continue to investigate as long as tips are coming in. Due to the high number of calls to the tip line, especially since the vehicle of interest was released, police are allowing trained volunteers to man the phones.

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2 years ago

Shunick Search at Whiskey Bay Called Off

Lafayette police have confirmed to KATC that the search efforts at Whiskey Bay have been canceled. Cpl. Paul Mouton says the search was called off around noon today. He says no further evidence was found at the site. He would not say where these crews will be sent to search.

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2 years ago

Day-long fundraiser for Mickey Shunick set for Wednesday

Another benefit has been scheduled to help in the search for Mickey Shunick. Walk-On's will host a 13-hour event on Wednesday, May 30 at its Lafayette location at 2336 Kaliste Saloom Rd, from 11 a.m. until midnight.

This fundraiser will include local bands, and in order for the fund to receive the proceeds, you must present a flyer. "We are excited to be a part of this, anything to help," said Walk-On's Marketing director Mallory Cramer. The restaurant will donate 10% of the proceeds from meals to help with search efforts and to help Mickey's family with any incidentals they may need.

You can donate at any Midsouth Bank location and make a deposit into the Charlene Shunick Fund or go to the Community Foundation of Acadiaan website www.cfacadiana.org.

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2 years ago

Mickey Shunick: What you need to know today

1. Investigators, including the Lafayette Police Mounted Patrol Unit are searching again today for clues and evidence near the I-10 Whiskey Bay exit. Yesterday, fishermen found Mickey Shunick's bike beneath the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge at the Whiskey Bay exit 127 in Iberville Parish. The public should stay away from the area to allow investigators to their jobs.

2. Lafayette police are interested in talking to the drivers of three vehicles. The vehicles were seen around the same time Mickey was captured on her bicycle on surveillance video. Investigators hope whoever was in those vehicles can provide valuable information about Mickey. Two trucks and a car were captured. Pictures are included in this story. The first truck (Picture1) drove from the area that Mickey had traveled. It is evident from the new photo that the vehicle has a bed cover and tinted windows. The second truck (Picture2) is a white 4 door Chevrolet Z71 that traveled in the same direction of Mickey on St. Landry Street. The third vehicle (Pictures 3 &4) is an 80's or 90's 4 door vehicle with body work on the rear right quarter panel.

3. Over the weekend, volunteer headquarters moved to Blackham Coliseum. Search parties are at it again today hoping to find Mickey or at least clues that could lead authorities to Mickey.

4. If you have information, call the tipline at 337-291-8633. A $25,000 is offered. Volunteers who want to help in the search should go to Blackham Coliseum, 2330 Johnston St. in Lafayette. Search parties leave throughout the day. You must be 18 years or older and bring your ID with you. Wear long pants and boots or closed toed shoes. ATV/fourwheeler vehicles are needed. If you have a machete bring it. Search areas are densely wooded.

5. Another benefit concert has been scheduled. Walk-On's will host the concert on Wednesday, May 30 at its Lafayette location at 2336 Kaliste Saloom Rd, from 11 a.m. until midnight. Bands will perform and proceeds will go to the continued search for Mickey as well as any incidentals or needs that the Shunick family has during this time. In order for the fund to receive the proceeds, guests must present a flyer.

6.You can donate at any Midsouth Bank location and make a deposit into the Charlene Shunick Fund or go to the Community Foundation of Acadiaan website www.cfacadiana.org.

For more information on the search for Mickey Shunick and to print a copy of the flyer, go to http://findmickeynow.com/

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2 years ago

Police probe similarities in Mickey Shunick and Indiana woman's disappearance

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) - Police in Bloomington say they have contacted authorities in Louisiana about their search for a college student whose disappearance has similarities to that of an Indiana University student who has been missing for nearly a year.

Twenty-one-year-old University of Louisiana student Michaela "Mickey" Shunick was last seen early May 19, when she left a friend's house in Lafayette, La., to go home.

Twenty-year-old Lauren Spierer of Greenburgh, N.Y., disappeared early June 3, 2010 after a night out with friends in downtown Bloomington.

Both women are blonde and petite, and The Herald Times reports (http://bit.ly/MT3JdG ) that security videos both show white pickup trucks in the areas where the women were last seen about the time they disappeared.

However, investigators later said the Indiana truck wasn't linked to Spierer's disappearance.

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2 years ago

Volunteers React to New Developments in Shunick Case

From the get-go,the search for Mickey Shunick has been a community effort.

A sign of that Sunday night in Downtown Lafayette, where a benefit concert was held. Over the past week we've seen nearly two-thousand volunteers join in the search effort, many of them we also saw out there Sunday at Parc International, still hopeful as investigators make big steps forward in the case.

As hundreds packed Parc International there was a somber mood as headliners took to the stage. Many couldn't help but think of the news from early Sunday morning when Mickey's bike was found.

"We're all human, so we've just got to focus on the positive thoughts. It is a good thing that we found something," said volunteer Cerrisa Couvillion.

Sunday's developments were a step forward in the investigation which was cold for nearly a week, frustrating for the family, investigators but also the countless volunteers.

"As big as the world seems, it is still so small and that's what this has shown me and what the community has shown me. I just pray for the best and her family's strength. I'm sure they will find her soon. they've got to find her," said Couvillion.

"I'm relieved her bike was found and she wasn't. That means she is still alive somewhere. They dumped her bike at the exit so that means she is still somewhere alive," said volunteer Lindsey Wills.

As each and every hour passes the group hopes new clues will lead to Mickey's safe return.

"It's really hard. I'm staying positive, but these feelings keep coming in the back of my mind and I don't want to say them. I don't want to voice them, I don't want them to be true," said Wills.

Chris Welty
cwelty@katctv.com

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2 years ago

Mickey's Bike Found, Search Expands to Atchafalaya Basin for Clues

A big development in the Mickey Shunick case with Lafayette Police confirming to KATC Sunday that they found Mickey's bicycle.

It was found 30 miles away from where Mickey was last seen, beneath the Whiskey Bay I-10 bridge, at exit 127 in Iberville Parish. Investigators spent much of the day there looking for more clues, but still no sign of Mickey.

By air, on the water and in the woods, several law enforcement agencies ramped up search efforts after two fishermen found Mickey's bike under the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge.

"We've expanded as wide as we feel comfortable. We don't miss anything, so it's quite a large area down there beneath the bridge and as well as the river," said Lafayette Police Corporal Paul Mouton. "They're checking further down the river as well as in close proximity to the bridge."

The big break came early Sunday morning. Police are not releasing exactly what time the bike was found, its condition, or whether it was on land or in the water. They did say it was Mickey's family who confirmed the bike is hers. The search now continues for more evidence in the area.

"We're going to be out here as long as it takes, until we feel satisfied that we've checked everywhere and that we've picked up any evidence or found any evidence we believe is involved in this case," explained Mouton.

About 50 yards from where police set up a command center under the bridge, a missing person poster for Mickey hung on a stop sign. It was perhaps a sign like this in the area that led to finding Mickey's bike. Mouton said without all of the public awareness, the fishermen may not have known to be on the look out for signs of Mickey.

"It's contributed to social media, the word getting out. You know, had the information not been out as it was, based on what the fishermen found, I don't believe they would have thought of anything because there is trash around there besides where the bike was," said Mouton.

While the search has expanded to the basin and river, police are now trying to connect the dots from the last spot in Lafayette where Mickey was captured on surveillance video to here where her bike was found. Mouton said Police are now checking more video on possible routes out of Lafayette toward I-10 east.

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2 years ago

Update: Mickey Shunick Bike Found Beneath Whiskey Bay Bridge

Lafayette Police are confirming that Mickey Shunick's bike has been found beneath the Whiskey Bay I-10 Bridge at Exit #127. Some local fisherman located the bike and notified police through the tips line. The entire area and the river are being searched for clues and evidence. Police are asking the public to remain out of the area so that law enforcement officials can search. The case remains under investigation.

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2 years ago

Police confirm the bike found under Whiskey Bay is Mickey Shunick

Lafayette Police confirm they have found the bike of Mickey Shunick under the Whiskey Bay exit off Interstate 10. Fishermen called in the information to the police department's tip line. Investigators are continue to collect evidence at the scene.

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2 years ago

Family Remains Hopeful After New Clues Released

For friends and family of Mickey it's a step forward in the investigation they waited an agonizing week for.

The family is doing as well as can be expected and over the past week they've relied on the community's support, but now, it's the prospect of the investigation moving forward that's sustaining them.

"That's all we've been waiting for is a place to start from to start looking instead of looking everywhere," said Charlie Shunick, Mickey's sister.

For the first time in days the Shunick family and investigators have something to go on.

"Now we at least know she got past university a little bit. I mean, it is awesome," said Shunick.

For the family and hundreds of volunteers these images are providing strength into a search that's so far come up empty handed.

"We're trying to think positively, we are trying to think effectively, rationally, and quickly. Even if it is minute, it is huge at this point," said Mickey's friend Josh Coen.

The next step is to find someone who may have seen what outside the frame of this surveillance video. Police released photos of three vehicles they say were in the area. Now, they want to talk to those drivers.

"We just want to speak to the people or the person in that vehicle that night to gather any new clues or any information that they may have to further this investigation," said Corporal Paul Mouton with the Lafayette Police Department.

Josh Coen says, "until we have clear, hard evidence, we are completely staying positive each and every day. Our motto every morning is we are bringing her home tonight."

Still no sign of Mickey. Both police and the family are still encouraging all businesses in the area to check their surveillance systems for any sign of Mickey.
Corporal Paul Mouton says one of the reasons why it took some time to find these images is because there are so many different instruments for recording video. Some systems allow you to fast forward or slow down, and once they found what is believed to be Mickey, the department had to send the video to be enhanced to a better quality.

Chris Welty
cwelty@katctv.com

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2 years ago

Vermilion River Given A Thorough Search For Shunick

The Vermilion River was been searched heavily the last few days. Yesterday deputies along with a Texas search company called Equusearch, used Sonar to search the bottom of the river.

Today volunteers came out with boats and kayaks to continue the search. Police were on hand to help search but also to make sure with any increased waterway traffic that laws were still being followed.

"The river length in Lafayette Parish is rather large, so we're going to continue to go up and down the waterway and continue to search and support any of the searchers that are out here in case they run into any problems," Captain Kip Judice said.

Both police and volunteers retiterated that they are still looking for clues that will lead to finding Micky Shunick. Today marks one week since she disappeared riding home from a friends house.

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2 years ago

Update: More Vehicles of Interest in Mickey Shunick Case

After reviewing more surveillance video, police want to speak to the drivers of two additional vehicles.
First a white 4 door Chevrolet Z-71 that traveled in the same direction as Mickey on St. Landry Street.
The second vehicle is an 80's or 90's 4 door vehicle with body work on the rear right quarter panel.
Detectives are interested in locating the vehicles and speaking with the occupants to obtain further information on the case.
If you have any information, call Lafayette Police.

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2 years ago

Mickey Shunick Press Conference Canceled

Lafayette Police say there are no updates to the case at this time. The Police Department has received a tremendous response in regards to the information released on the vehicle of interest. Detectives continue to follow up tips. There is no press briefing today.

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2 years ago

11:30 am 5/26: Search for Mickey Shunick


• Call the Lafayette, LA Police Department with ANY information or tips: 337-291-8633. (updated number)

• Link to photos of Mickey and her bike. Nothing so far has been found - her purse, bike, phone, etc. Her phone was turned off sometime early Saturday morning. https://www.facebook.com/findmickeynow/photos

• The reward in the Mickey Shunick search has been increased to $25,000. An anonymous donor originally offered a $10,000 reward Sunday. On Monday, the reward was doubled to $20,000. The award amount has been capped.

• Events:
o There will be a daily media held Saturday at 3 P.M. at Our Lady of Wisdom, 501 Saint Mary St. Lafayette, LA. KATC will cut-in live online and on television.
• The headquarters of the Missing Mickey Shunick campaign are moving to the corner of St.Mary and McKinley St., the Our Lady of Wisdom Center, on UL's campus. There was a need to move from the 100 Ryan Street location to house the growing number of supporters and volunteers.
Volunteers meet at Our lady of Wisdom where organized searches will begin. The searches are announced at https://www.facebook.com/findmickeynow. You must be 18 or older and have a photo Id. EQUUsearch stops searching daily at 4pm. You must wear boots and long pants and will go out in groups of 10.
Anyone with ATVs or 4 wheelers are encouraged to come out and help search.
If your home or business has surveillance cameras, review the recordings, especially between the hours of 1:30 a.m. daylight on Saturday, May 19th. Even if you do not live on the route we think Mickey would have taken, there is no way of knowing what route she actually took.

• Donations
o Food:
Pick a day and meal on this calendar to provide food to Mickey's family: http://helpmickeysfamily.webs.com/
For volunteers, food donations would arrive to correspond to the time of day at which they will be eaten. That is, breakfast foods in the morning, veggies, salads, fruits, and light sandwiches to be brought around lunch time, and heavier foods to be brought during the evening.

o Supplies:
Requested Saturday: neon pink plastic wristbands from party city & ice.
o Money:
Donations to help the family and the search effort can be made at Midsouth Bank. Checks can be made out Shunick's sister, Charlene Shunick, and money should be deposited personally at the bank. Call Kordecki for more information at (337)323-9228.
Donations for police overtime and the reward are being accepted at Community Foundation of Acadiana "Mickey Shunick Fund." Those donations are tax deductable. For more information contact Linda at (337) 769-4840.

• Getting the message out:
o Spread the word: Tell people in person, on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit and wherever else you frequent online. The search is being expanded. Please forward messages about Mickey Shunick to friends and relatives in other states especially California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Share these photos, videos, links and pages listed below:
https://www.facebook.com/findmickeynow
https://www.facebook.com/events/359507344113948/
http://twitter.com/#!/MissingCases/status/204698032401432576/photo/1/large
http://www.reddit.com/search?q=mickey+shunick&sort=relevance
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTcnWwlKDMY
http://pinterest.com/pin/207306389067721505/
o Print and post flyers.
New image here (updated with $25,000 reward): https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10100201196922030&set=p.10100201196922030&type=1&theater
or have Fedex print them for you. Instructions here: https://www.facebook.com/findmickeynow/posts/335927406476504

• Quick facts: 21 year old Mickey Shunick was last seen at about 2:00 am on May 19th riding a black and gold Schwinn Madison bicycle with glittery gold handlebars from a friend's home in the Saint Streets area of Lafayette. She was riding back to her family's home to the area near Ambassador and Congress, but never made it home and hasn't been seen since. She is 5'1" tall, weighing about 115 pounds, has shoulder length curly blonde hair and blue eyes. She has a small tattoo of a bicycle on her right outer ankle and a nose ring on her left nostril.
She was last seen wearing a pastel multicolored striped shirt, light wash denim skinny jeans, and silver ankle boots. She was also carrying a light brown leather backpack, a black and yellow Vera Bradley wallet, a black Verizon slider phone and a small pink container of pepper spray.
"Detectives were able to identify a bicyclist believed to be Mickey Shunick traveling on Versailles Blvd and Saint Landry Street. At approximately 1:47 am the bicyclist is captured on Versailles Blvd traveling towards St. John Street," according to Lafayette Police Dept. Cpl. Paul Mouton. Mickey then traveled on St. John Street, crossed University Ave. then continued on St. Landry Street where she was captured on video around 1:48 a.m. "Investigators are seeking information regarding a white newer model four door pickup truck, which was captured on video after Mickey Shunick traveled on both streets," said Mouton. Anyone with information about the case of the pickup truck is encouraged to call the tips line at 337-291-8633 or Crime Stoppers at 337-232-TIPS.

LOCAL EVENTS SUPPORTING THE SEARCH:
This is a listing of events donating all or part of their proceeds to the search effort. Message Allison Breaux on FaceBook to have your event added or E-Mail kyle@pinkley.me. Again only E-Mail with event listings!
SATURDAY 5/26/12

? Saint Street Inn will be donating 10% of all sales between 11 AM and 2 PM to the Midsouth bank account supporting the search efforts. 407 Brook Ave., Lafayette, LA
? Free Yoga and Intention Vigil 11:45 to 12:30 at Bindu Yoga.
? Acadiana Roller Girls will be collecting donations for the search for Mickey Shunick and handing out flyers at their roller derby bout. Doors open at 6 PM.
? Anytime Fitness - Abbeville, Upper Lafayette, Franklin, and Maurice locations: Pay off your remaining balance on your membership by Saturday, May 26 and 100% of that will go to the Shunick family. Join Saturday the 26th and 100% of your down payment will go to the Shunick family.
SUNDAY 5/27/12
? Benefit Show featuring GIVERS and Vagabond Swing 5:00 pm at Parc International in Downtown Lafayette.
LOCAL BUSINESSES SUPPORTING THE SEARCH
This list contains info on where to find t-shirts, signs, and other items to help in the search. Please message me to add your business to this list.
Absolutely Irresistible Monogramming & Gifts. Missing Mickey Shunick shirts available at 141 James Comeaux Rd. Lafayette, LA 70508. 337-232-7077. Orders can be taken over the phone. All sizes available. The shirts cost $10.00 and half will be donated to the help bring Mickey home.
Party Time Party Supplies Yard signs or banners. As of right now they are not charging for yard signs but if the demand goes up we will charge $4.99 a yard sign and half price for large banners including color and pictures. Call 593-9444 and ask for Blair Whitaker.

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2 years ago

Police Pinpoint Mickey's Steps, Surveillance Video Provides Lead

After almost a week of no leads in the case of Mickey Shunick, Lafayette Police said they finally got the break they were looking for with video surveillance of Mickey riding her bike on Versailles Boulevard and St. Landry Street.

In both videos, a white, four door pickup truck is captured on video after Mickey traveled those streets. The surveillance video comes from Lafayette Consolidated Government and is taken in front of the Circle K on St. Landry.

Police said it took a long time to go through all the surveillance video collected, and much of it had to be watched in real time. Police said they saw the footage Thursday and then had to get it enhanced in order to positively identify Mickey.

While the images don't solve the case, they do revitalize the investigation.

It's a night that's played over and over in minds of anyone who knows or is looking for Mickey.

"It's something you (we) keep asking ourselves, if there's something that we overlooked or something that we missed," said friend Brettley Wilson.

Police can now paint a much clearer picture of where Mickey went that Friday night.

10:15 pm: Mickey arrived at music venue and bar, Artmosphere, to see a band and hang out with friends.

"After about like an hour or two of being there she already started making mention of being ready to go home, getting something to eat," explained Wilson.

12:44 am: Mickey and Wilson left Artmosphere and rode their bikes back to his house on Ryan Street. They then went to Taco Bell on Congress in his car to grab a bite to eat. Video surveillance confirmed this, showing them in the drive through at 1:24 am.

1:31 am: Mickey received a call from a friend. It was the last time her phone was used. Wilson said around 1:45 am Mickey set out on her bike to go home near Congress Street and Ambassador Caffrey.

"She checked her bike, took out her mace, made sure it was on. I walked her out, watched her get to the drive way then I closed the door and locked it," recalled Wilson.

That's when the case went cold, until now.

"Now we're able to show the family that, hey, we know she traveled on Versaille, we know she made it as far as St. Landry Street, and that there was a white pick up truck in that area," said Corporal Paul Mouton, Public Information Officer for Lafayette Police.

Mouton said they now have a direction in the case and want to talk to the driver of that pick up truck.

"Someone was in that immediate area when she passed on the bike so it's trying to identify with those people and getting that information back so we can hopefully get closer to finding her," said Mouton.

Mouton said police will now concentrate more efforts in that area and collect more video surveillance from businesses or homes near where she was last seen.

If you have any information on the pick up truck call 232-TIPS.

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2 years ago

Woman says she may have been picked up by the same truck in surveilance photos

After seeing the pictures of the truck, Tasha Patterson believes it is the same truck that approached her two months ago. She says she was riding her bike down South College around 2 pm.

She was heading back from an appointment when a man in a white truck pulled over and asked if she needed a ride. Patterson says she was exhausted and not thinking clearly, so she got in the car. Shortly after, he dropped her off at the Walgreens on the corner of Johnston and South College.

Patterson says throughout the car ride, the man offered her money in return for sex. She refused and he dropped her off without any trouble. Patterson described the truck as a white GMC Sierra 2500 Texas Edition. Patterson says while in the car he told her something she found disturbing.

"He says he rides around town all the time trying to pick up pretty girls."

In Patterson's incident, she described the man as white, heavyset, and in his 50's or 60's. Now, of course, these incidents may not be related, but Patterson hopes sharing her story can shed some light on what might have happened to Mickey.

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2 years ago

Volunteer search more organized

It is now day two of the Texas Equusearch efforts to find Mickey Shunick. Since the group's arrival, search efforts are now more structured.

"Nothing at all has been found. No evidence, no footage, nothing at all."

"Time is very important right now and it is not on our side, it's not on our side."

Volunteers are tired and emotionally drained no solid evidence has been found. Since Texas Equusearch's arrival, searches are more organized and regimented. Volunteers aren't even allowed to have cell phones. No distractions and where they search is under wraps. Mickey's family is grateful for resources Equusearch provides like a boat, plane and helicopter.

Director Tim Miller has worked past cases where the suspect helped search then later moved the body to areas already canvassed.

At the end of the day, volunteers talk about what went wrong and ask what could be done differently----hoping anything will lead them to Mickey.

Chris Welty

cwelty@katctv.com

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2 years ago

Truck of interest wanted in Mickey Shunick case

There are new developments in the case of missing Lafayette woman Mickey Shunick. "Detectives were able to identify a bicyclist believed to be Mickey Shunick traveling on Versailles Blvd and Saint Landry Street. At approximately 1:47 am the bicyclist is captured on Versailles Blvd traveling towards St. John Street," according to Lafayette Police Dept. Cpl. Paul Mouton. Mickey then traveled on St. John Street, crossed University Ave. then continued on St. Landry Street where she was captured on video around 1:48 a.m. "Investigators are seeking information regarding a white newer model four door pickup truck, which was captured on video after Mickey Shunick traveled on both streets," said Mouton. Anyone with information about the case of the pickup truck is encouraged to call the tips line at 337-291-8633 or Crime Stoppers at 337-232-TIPS.

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2 years ago

5:00 Mickey Shunick update

Marcelle Fontenot talks to Brettly Wilson about his friend's disappearance. He was the last person to see Mickey Shunick Saturday morning.

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2 years ago

LPD media briefing on Mickey Shunick search Video Included

During a media briefing about missing Lafayette woman Mickey Shunick, Cpl. Paul Mouton of the Lafayette Police Department said investigators have found "no articles that we believe to be relevant at this time." Investigators continue to get about 20 tips an hour on the case, and police dispelled rumors of Shunick's bike being found. This morning, Texas Equusearch Mounted Search and Recovery used a plane to search areas. However, they will not say where they searched. Crews are expected to use a helicopter later today to search for Shunick. "The only thing we're lacking right now is that little bit of luck that goes along with it," said Equusearch director and founder Tim Miller. Mouton said Lafayette police and searchers are also checking waterways, coulees, and abandoned buildings. Police look into every tip, he said. Equusearch has brought in trained searchers from Ohio, Texas, Alabama and people will be arriving from Florida. We're holding on to that hope that Mickey is alive somewhere out there," said Miller. As soon as those words came out of his mouth, Charlie chimed in," She is alive."

Volunteers are still needed, but donations of water, snacks, toiletries, and bug spray are no longer needed. Anyone who wants to help search for Mickey should go to Our Lady of Wisdom Catholic Church at 501 E Saint Mary Blvd. at 8:00 in the morning. Searches usually end around 4 or 5 in the afternoon.

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2 years ago

Congressman Boustany Releases Statement on Shunick Search

Rep. Charles Boustany, Jr., M.D. (R-Lafayette), has issued the following statement as the search for Mickey Shunick continues:

"I encourage all parties in the community to get involved and join in the search for Mickey. Please be on the lookout for her and alert authorities if you have any information which may lead to her whereabouts. My thoughts and prayers are with her family as it goes through this difficult time."

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2 years ago

10:00 am 5/25/2012 - Mickey Shunick Search Update

• Call the Lafayette, LA Police Department with ANY information or tips: 337-291-8633. (updated number)

• Link to photos of Mickey and her bike. Nothing so far has been found - her purse, bike, phone, etc. Her phone was turned off sometime early Saturday morning. https://www.facebook.com/findmickeynow/photos

• The reward in the Mickey Shunick search has been increased to $25,000. An anonymous donor originally offered a $10,000 reward Sunday. On Monday, the reward was doubled to $20,000. The award amount has been capped.

• Events:
o There will be daily media briefings beginning Friday 3 P.M. at Our Lady of Wisdom, 501 Saint Mary St. Lafayette, LA. KATC will cut-in live online and on television.
• The headquarters of the Missing Mickey Shunick campaign are moving to the corner of St.Mary and McKinley St., the Our Lady of Wisdom Center, on UL's campus. There was a need to move from the 100 Ryan Street location to house the growing number of supporters and volunteers.

Volunteers meet at Our lady of Wisdom where organized searches will begin. The searches are announced at https://www.facebook.com/findmickeynow. You must be 18 or older and have a photo Id. EQUUsearch stops searching daily at 4pm. You must wear boots and long pants and will go out in groups of 10.

Anyone interested in searching the Vermillion River: No time has been set for Saturday. You do not have to have a boat or kayak, but they will be much help. If you have an ATV and would like to help you can come to this meeting. Contact Jonathan Romein at 337-207-4401.

Anyone with ATVs or 4wheelers are encouraged to come out and help search.

If your home or business has surveillance cameras, review the recordings, especially between the hours of 1:30 a.m. daylight on Saturday, May 19th. Even if you do not live on the route we think Mickey would have taken, there is no way of knowing what route she actually took.

• Donations
o Food:
Pick a day and meal on this calendar to provide food to Mickey's family: http://helpmickeysfamily.webs.com/
For volunteers, food donations would arrive to correspond to the time of day at which they will be eaten. That is, breakfast foods in the morning, veggies, salads, fruits, and light sandwiches to be brought around lunch time, and heavier foods to be brought during the evening.
o Supplies:
Please hold off on office supply donations. We are set on office supplies right now. Also please do not bring anymore fresh fruit. We have more that we can handle and it will go bad! WHAT WE NEED IS MONEY DONATIONS AND VOLUNTEERS.

o Money:
Donations to help the family and the search effort can be made at Midsouth Bank. Checks can be made out Shunick's sister, Charlene Shunick, and money should be deposited personally at the bank. Call Kordecki for more information at (337)323-9228.
Donations for police overtime and the reward are being accepted at Community Foundation of Acadiana "Mickey Shunick Fund." Those donations are tax deductable. For more information contact Linda at (337) 769-4840.
o Other:
Concert organizers have confirmed Vagabond Swing will be the opening act at this Sunday's benefit concert for the Mickey Shunick rescue effort. Lafayette indie band Givers will headline the bill. The concert will take place at Parc International. Gates open at 5:00 P. M., and the concert begins at 5:30. Organizers suggest a $15 donation

• Getting the message out:
o Spread the word: Tell people in person, on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit and wherever else you frequent online. The search is being expanded. Please forward messages about Mickey Shunick to friends and relatives in other states especially California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Share these photos, videos, links and pages listed below:
https://www.facebook.com/findmickeynow
https://www.facebook.com/events/359507344113948/
http://twitter.com/#!/MissingCases/status/204698032401432576/photo/1/large
http://www.reddit.com/search?q=mickey+shunick&sort=relevance
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTcnWwlKDMY
http://pinterest.com/pin/207306389067721505/
o Missing Mickey Shunick shirts available at Absolutely Monogramming & Gifts. Located at 141 James Comeaux Rd. Lafayette, LA 70508. 337-232-7077. Orders can be taken over the phone. All sizes available. The shirts cost $10.00 and half will be donated to the help bring Mickey home.
o Print and post flyers.
New image here (updated with $25,000 reward): https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10100201196922030&set=p.10100201196922030&type=1&theater
or have Fedex print them for you. Instructions here: https://www.facebook.com/findmickeynow/posts/335927406476504

• Quick facts: 21 year old Mickey Shunick was last seen at about 2:00 am on May 19th riding a black and gold Schwinn Madison bicycle with glittery gold handlebars from a friend's home in the Saint Streets area of Lafayette. She was riding back to her family's home to the area near Ambassador and Congress, but never made it home and hasn't been seen since. She is 5'1" tall, weighing about 115 pounds, has shoulder length curly blonde hair and blue eyes. She has a small tattoo of a bicycle on her right outer ankle and a nose ring on her left nostril.
She was last seen wearing a pastel multicolored striped shirt, light wash denim skinny jeans, and silver ankle boots. She was also carrying a light brown leather backpack, a black and yellow Vera Bradley wallet, a black Verizon slider phone and a small pink container of pepper spray.
Mickey was reported missing 6:30 Saturday evening. Police put her in the missing person's national database and began interviewing neighbors in the Ryan Street area. Lafayette Police have about 40 officers working on this case full-time, plus other agencies have offered resources. Tuesday, they estimate 70 officers were working on the case actively. Other agencies helping include the Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office, State Police, FBI, St. Martin Parish Sheriff's Office and the St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office.

• Extra info:
o Hilton Garden Inn on Congress and Cajundome are giving discounted rooms to out of town search help.

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2 years ago

Donations for Mickey Shunick

Accounts have been set up for the Shunick family at MidSouth Bank. Donations will help pay for search efforts and will help the family.

Volunteers like Summer Sims felt compelled to donate to the Shunicks, even though she has never met Mickey before. "If it was a family member of mine I would want people to step up in the community and be there for us as a family and as a whole. I'm just thankful to God that I have this opportunity."

It's not just food and water that's being purchased with the donations, it's also bumper stickers and door hangers that are being created. All in an effort to find Mickey.

Josh Coen, a spokesperson for the family, explained why monetary donations are so important to helping the search effort. "Everything that [the Shunicks] are doing is for this, so we need to make sure that they can sustain their life and that they can keep going once they get Mickey back."

Mickey's family have put their lives and jobs on hold to do nothing but concentrate on finding Mickey.

Meredith Bearb, head of organizing the donations, believes that no matter the cost there is one goal for everyone involved. " I can't tell you how many hours and how many things have gone through our mind as to what we can do. The money, the hours, the volunteers, it's just...we want her back."

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2 years ago

A Well-Known Texas Search Team is Lending a Hand to Help Find Mickey

Tim Miller is all too familiar with missing persons. His teenage daughter Laura went missing in 1984 and police considered her a runway.

"Unfortunately 17 months later her body and 3 other bodies were found two and half miles from my house," said Miller.

Since then, Miller founded Texas Equusearch Mounted Search and Recovery Team. He and volunteers travel the country searching for missing persons working hand-in-hand with police.

"We're hoping for the best. We don't sugarcoat anything. It does not look good, doesn't look good at all, but we believe in miracles," he said of the efforts to find Mickey.

Equusearch volunteers go through structured trainings where they learn to search for evidence and differentiate between human and animal bones.

"I think we've got the determination, we've got the experience, we've got the resources, all we need is a little bit of luck," Miller added.

A couple of changes since moving to the new volunteer center and Equusearch took over-- not only is it more spacious but no cameras are allowed on searches and all volunteers are asked to leave their cell phones because there is only one focus, and that is, to find Mickey

"They know what to look for, they know what we may not have thought of yet," said Mickey's friend, Ashley Says.

Says believes Equusearch is not only providing necessary resources, but their presence is increasing morale.

"We're not going to stop, we're not going to rest, we're going to get her back," said Says.

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2 years ago

Reviewing home security cameras are urged

If anyone has a security camera at their home, please take the time to review the footage from Saturday morning after 2am until daylight if possible. Even if you do not live on the believed route Mickey Shunick would have taken, there is no way of knowing what route she actually took. She could have gone anywhere. She's an avid cyclist, in great shape, and she would have had no trouble going several miles out of her way if she thought she was being followed or any other unforeseen circumstances.

Anyone who has a security camera at their home is urged to review the footage. Anyone finding any footage of interest is asked to call the tips line at 337-291-8633.

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2 years ago

4:00 pm 5/24 Update on Mickey Shunick Search

Call the Lafayette, LA Police Department with ANY information or tips: 337-291-8633. (updated number)

• Link to photos of Mickey and her bike. Nothing so far has been found - her purse, bike, phone, etc. Her phone was turned off sometime early Saturday morning. https://www.facebook.com/findmickeynow/photos

• The reward in the Mickey Shunick search has been increased to $25,000. An anonymous donor originally offered a $10,000 reward Sunday. On Monday, the reward was doubled to $20,000. The award amount has been capped.

• Events:
o There will be daily media briefings beginning Friday 3 P.M. at Our Lady of Wisdom, 501 Saint Mary St. Lafayette, LA. KATC will cut-in live online and on television.
o For those looking to help search the Vermilion River, there will be a MEETING at 8:30 p.m May 24th at WISDOM to DISCUSS ONLY an organized search of the Vermillion River on Saturday. You do not have to have a boat or kayak but they will be much help. Also if you have an ATV and would like to help you should come to this meeting!
Contact Jonathan Romein at 337-207-4401

• The headquarters of the Missing Mickey Shunick campaign are moving to the corner of St.Mary and McKinley St., the Our Lady of Wisdom Center, on UL's campus. There was a need to move from the 100 Ryan Street location to house the growing number of supporters and volunteers.

http://maps.google.com/maps?jsid=1&hl=en&um=1&ie=UTF-8&q=Our+Lady+of+Wisdom+Church&fb=1&cid=0%2C0%2C15647961730593166574&near=Lafayette%2C+LA&sa=X&ei=aTO-T8D1K8Lfggee8oyiDw&ved=0CAMQkwMwAQ

https://www.facebook.com/findmickeynow
https://www.facebook.com/events/359507344113948/

• Donations
o Food:
? Pick a day and meal on this calendar to provide food to Mickey's family: http://helpmickeysfamily.webs.com/
? For volunteers, food donations would arrive to correspond to the time of day at which they will be eaten. That is, breakfast foods in the morning, veggies, salads, fruits, and light sandwiches to be brought around lunch time, and heavier foods to be brought during the evening.
o Supplies:
? Volunteers said Wednesday afternoon that they need more office supplies such as pens, pads of paper, post its and extension cords. They can also use more ice, coffee and tea and snack foods that are easy for search teams to carry with them.
? Also requested, duct tape, heavy-duty staple guns with staples, printed flyers and signs updated with the $25,000 reward, mosquito repellent, flashlights, sunscreen, paper towels, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, office supplies: legal pads, pens, papers, post its, power strips, fruit and veggie trays, coffee and energy drinks.
? TEXAS EQUUSEARCH is in need of two boat trailer tires for the water search. Please donate these items: P195 75 R14 at the Our Lady of Wisdom Church search headquarters.
o Money:
? Donations to help the family and the search effort can be made at Midsouth Bank. Checks can be made out Shunick's sister, Charlene Shunick, and money should be deposited personally at the bank. Call Kordecki for more information at (337)323-9228.
? Donations for police overtime and the reward are being accepted at Community Foundation of Acadiana "Mickey Shunick Fund." Those donations are tax deductable. For more information contact Linda at (337) 769-4840.
o Other:
? Concert organizers have confirmed Vagabond Swing will be the opening act at this Sunday's benefit concert for the Mickey Shunick rescue effort. Lafayette indie band Givers will headline the bill. The concert will take place at Parc International. Gates open at 5:00 P. M., and the concert begins at 5:30. Organizers suggest a $15 donation
o Volunteers:
? To anyone who is coming to help with the search parties involving Equusearch:
You MUST be 18 and have I.D.
WEAR TENNIS SHOES AND PANTS! A lot of the areas we are searching are either in deep woods or fields with tall grass.
Don't forget to put on bug spray and sunscreen.
It is very hot today and we don't want anyone passing out. Drink lots of water and eat before you leave to search.
? The EQUUsearch WILL STOP SENDING PEOPLE OUT AT 4 P.M.

• Getting the message out:

o Spread the word: Tell people in person, on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit and wherever else you frequent online. The search is being expanded. Please forward messages about Mickey Shunick to friends and relatives in other states especially California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Share these photos, videos, links and pages listed below:
https://www.facebook.com/findmickeynow
https://www.facebook.com/events/359507344113948/
http://twitter.com/#!/MissingCases/status/204698032401432576/photo/1/large
http://www.reddit.com/search?q=mickey+shunick&sort=relevance
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTcnWwlKDMY
http://pinterest.com/pin/207306389067721505/
o Missing Mickey Shunick shirts available at Absolutely Monogramming & Gifts. Located at 141 James Comeaux Rd. Lafayette, LA 70508. 337-232-7077. Orders can be taken over the phone. All sizes available. The shirts cost $10.00 and half will be donated to the help bring Mickey home.
o Print and post flyers.
New image here (updated with $25,000 reward): https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10100201196922030&set=p.10100201196922030&type=1&theater
or have Fedex print them for you. Instructions here: https://www.facebook.com/findmickeynow/posts/335927406476504


• Quick facts: 21 year old Mickey Shunick was last seen at about 2:00 am on May 19th riding a black and gold Schwinn Madison bicycle with glittery gold handlebars from a friend's home in the Saint Streets area of Lafayette. She was riding back to her family's home to the area near Ambassador and Congress, but never made it home and hasn't been seen since. She is 5'1" tall, weighing about 115 pounds, has shoulder length curly blonde hair and blue eyes. She has a small tattoo of a bicycle on her right outer ankle and a nose ring on her left nostril.

She was last seen wearing a pastel multicolored striped shirt, light wash denim skinny jeans, and silver ankle boots. She was also carrying a light brown leather backpack, a black and yellow Vera Bradley wallet, a black Verizon slider phone and a small pink container of pepper spray.

Mickey was reported missing 6:30 Saturday evening. Police put her in the missing person's national database and began interviewing neighbors in the Ryan Street area. Lafayette Police have about 40 officers working on this case full-time, plus other agencies have offered resources. Tuesday, they estimate 70 officers were working on the case actively. Other agencies helping include the Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office, State Police, FBI, St. Martin Parish Sheriff's Office and the St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office.

• Extra info:
o Hilton Garden Inn on Congress and Cajundome are giving discounted rooms to out of town search help.

Story Photo

2 years ago

Vermilion River Search Meeting Tonight

There will be a meeting at 8:30 p.m tonight (May 24th) at WISDOM to DISCUSS ONLY (NOT to go to the Vermillion tonight) an organized search of the Vermillion River on Saturday. There is no time set for Saturday yet, as that will be discussed tonight. You do not have to have a boat or kayak but they will be much help. Also if you have an ATV and would like to help you should come to this meeting!

Contact Jonathan Romein at 337-207-4401

Story Photo

2 years ago

Texas search & rescue company helping in search for Mickey Shunick

A Texas company specializing in searching and recovering missing persons is on the ground in Lafayette assisting in the search for Mickey Shunick. Texas EquuSearch Mounted Search and Recovery Team has six people in Lafayette, and more searchers are coming from Texas, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Ohio. Founder and Director Tim Miller said they're working hand-in-hand with Lafayette Police Dept. detectives.

Miller founded the company after his daughter, Laura, was abducted and murdered in 1984. According to the company website, Texas EquuSearch has helped return more than 300 missing people safe and sound to their families. In addition, Texas Equusearch recovered the remains of 136 people.

KATC's Jenise Fernandez will follow the Texas Equusearch team and find out what makes the team successful in finding missing persons.

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2 years ago

May 24th Update: What you need to know about Mickey Shunick Search

Call the Lafayette, LA Police Department with ANY information or tips: 337-291-8633. (updated number)

• Link to photos of Mickey and her bike. Nothing so far has been found - her purse, bike, phone, etc. Her phone was turned off sometime early Saturday morning. https://www.facebook.com/findmickeynow/photos

• The reward in the Mickey Shunick search has been increased to $25,000. An anonymous donor originally offered a $10,000 reward Sunday. On Monday, the reward was doubled to $20,000. The award amount has been capped.

• The headquarters of the Missing Mickey Shunick campaign are moving to the corner of St.Mary and McKinley St., the Our Lady of Wisdom Center, on UL's campus. There was a need to move from the 100 Ryan Street location to house the growing number of supporters and volunteers.

http://maps.google.com/maps?jsid=1&hl=en&um=1&ie=UTF-8&q=Our+Lady+of+Wisdom+Church&fb=1&cid=0%2C0%2C15647961730593166574&near=Lafayette%2C+LA&sa=X&ei=aTO-T8D1K8Lfggee8oyiDw&ved=0CAMQkwMwAQ

https://www.facebook.com/findmickeynow
https://www.facebook.com/events/359507344113948/

Donations
o Food:
Pick a day and meal on this calendar to provide food to Mickey's family: http://helpmickeysfamily.webs.com/
For volunteers, food donations would arrive to correspond to the time of day at which they will be eaten. That is, breakfast foods in the morning, veggies, salads, fruits, and light sandwiches to be brought around lunch time, and heavier foods to be brought during the evening.
o Supplies:
Volunteers said Wednesday afternoon that they need more office supplies such as pens, pads of paper, post its and extension cords. They can also use more ice, coffee and tea and snack foods that are easy for search teams to carry with them.
Also requested, duct tape, heavy-duty staple guns with staples, printed flyers and signs updated with the $25,000 reward, mosquito repellent, flashlights, sunscreen, paper towels, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, office supplies: legal pads, pens, papers, post its, power strips, fruit and veggie trays, coffee and energy drinks.
TEXAS EQUUSEARCH is in need of two boat trailer tires for the water search. Please donate these items: P195 75 R14 at the Our Lady of Wisdom Church search headquarters.
o Money:
Donations to help the family and the search effort can be made at Midsouth Bank. Checks can be made out Shunick's sister, Charlene Shunick, and money should be deposited personally at the bank. Call Kordecki for more information at (337)323-9228.
Donations for police overtime and the reward are being accepted at Community Foundation of Acadiana "Mickey Shunick Fund." Those donations are tax deductable. For more information contact Linda at (337) 769-4840.

o Other:
Concert organizers have confirmed Vagabond Swing will be the opening act at this Sunday's benefit concert for the Mickey Shunick rescue effort. Lafayette indie band Givers will headline the bill. The concert will take place at Parc International. Gates open at 5:00 P. M., and the concert begins at 5:30. Organizers suggest a $15 donation.

o Volunteers:

To anyone who is coming to help with the search parties involving Equusearch: You MUST be 18 and have I.D.; WEAR TENNIS SHOES AND PANTS! A lot of the areas we are searching are either in deep woods or fields with tall grass. Don't forget to put on bug spray and sunscreen. It is very hot today and we don't want anyone passing out. Drink lots of water and eat before you leave to search.

Getting the message out:

o Spread the word: Tell people in person, on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit and wherever else you frequent online. The search is being expanded. Please forward messages about Mickey Shunick to friends and relatives in other states especially California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Share these photos, videos, links and pages listed below:
https://www.facebook.com/findmickeynow
https://www.facebook.com/events/359507344113948/
http://twitter.com/#!/MissingCases/status/204698032401432576/photo/1/large
http://www.reddit.com/search?q=mickey+shunick&sort=relevance
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTcnWwlKDMY
http://pinterest.com/pin/207306389067721505/

o Missing Mickey Shunick shirts available at Absolutely Monogramming & Gifts. Located at 141 James Comeaux Rd. Lafayette, LA 70508. 337-232-7077. Orders can be taken over the phone. All sizes available. The shirts cost $10.00 and half will be donated to the help bring Mickey home.

o Print and post flyers.
New image here (updated with $25,000 reward): https://www.facebook.com/photo.phpfbid=10100201196922030&set=p.10100201196922030&type=1&theater
or have Fedex print them for you. Instructions here: https://www.facebook.com/findmickeynow/posts/335927406476504

• Quick facts: 21 year old Mickey Shunick was last seen at about 2:00 am on May 19th riding a black and gold Schwinn Madison bicycle with glittery gold handlebars from a friend's home in the Saint Streets area of Lafayette. She was riding back to her family's home to the area near Ambassador and Congress, but never made it home and hasn't been seen since. She is 5'1" tall, weighing about 115 pounds, has shoulder length curly blonde hair and blue eyes. She has a small tattoo of a bicycle on her right outer ankle and a nose ring on her left nostril.

She was last seen wearing a pastel multicolored striped shirt, light wash denim skinny jeans, and silver ankle boots. She was also carrying a light brown leather backpack, a black and yellow Vera Bradley wallet, a black Verizon slider phone and a small pink container of pepper spray.

Mickey was reported missing 6:30 Saturday evening. Police put her in the missing person's national database and began interviewing neighbors in the Ryan Street area. Lafayette Police have about 40 officers working on this case full-time, plus other agencies have offered resources. Tuesday, they estimate 70 officers were working on the case actively. Other agencies helping include the Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office, State Police, FBI, St. Martin Parish Sheriff's Office and the St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office.

• Extra info:
o Hilton Garden Inn on Congress and Cajundome are giving discounted rooms to out of town search help.

Story Photo

2 years ago

Vagabond Swing to Open Shunick Search Benefit

Concert organizers have confirmed Vagabond Swing will be the opening act at this Sunday's benefit concert for the Mickey Shunick rescue effort. Lafayette indie band Givers will headline the bill. The concert will take place at Parc International. Gates open at 5:00 P. M., and the concert begins at 5:30. Organizers suggest a $15 donation.

Story Photo

2 years ago

Missing Mickey Shunick Campaign on the Move

The headquarters of the Missing Mickey Shunick campaign are moving to the corner of St.Mary and McKinley St., the Our Lady of Wisdom Center, on UL's campus. There was a need to move from the 100 Ryan Street location to house the growing number of supporters and volunteers. The organizers are planning on making the move between 9 and 10 am. Volunteers are asked to come out at that time to help move supplies.

Story Photo

2 years ago

Volunteers Search Lake Martin For Clues into Mickey Shunick's Disappearance

A group of volunteers took the search for Mickey Shunick outside of Lafayette, Wednesday. About two dozen people gathered at Lake Martin in St. Martin Parish to search for clues into Mickey's disappearance.

"I pray we don't find her, we're looking for clues," said Eric Robicheaux of Breaux Bridge.

Like so many volunteers, Robicheaux doesn't know Mickey. "I saw the story and I said I'm going to help out, just to see what I can do."

The volunteers took to the Lake in kayaks and powerboats, some of which were donated to the cause.

"I'm pretty sure somebody has searched out here, but I figured why not go public with it and get more eyes and more boats in the water," said Travis Conques, who is friends with Mickey and helped organized Wednesday's search, which came up empty handed.

"She's a genuinely nice person, we won't stop until we find her," he said.

Story Photo

2 years ago

Cyclists ride for solidarity

Cyclists met at Parc Sans Souci tonight for a ride of solidarity. Riding the route Mickey likely would've taken the night she disappeared.

Tonight's ride was not only to honor Mickey, but also a chance for the cycling community to come together to take back the road.

"The need for adventure and the wind in her face, it really embodies who she is."

Friends like Christine Peirce say Mickey loved riding her bike, but she didn't always feel comfortable riding in certain areas or certain times.

"Mickey wasn't ok with being hollered at, harassed, honked at and feeling unsafe," says friend and ride organizer Brettly Wilson.

Her disappearance has been a rude awakening for the Lafayette cycling community.

"It's a tragic reminder, but I think it opened everybody's eyes," says cyclist Cliff Couvillon.

"Whatever state of safety that we felt, that's gone and its up to us to take that back."

Even people that didn't know Mickey gathered for tonight's ride to show support for a fellow rider. Friends hope the ride will help keep spirits high and thoughts positive.

"To get a sense of what she was feeling that night and kinda have that connection."

"Mickey wasn't afraid, she was strong and she had what it takes to ride at night and we're gonna make sure no one has it happen to them again."

2 years ago

Benefit Concert Scheduled This Weekend for Mickey Shunick

A benefit concert will be held on Sunday, 5/27 at Parc International (downtown Lafayette) on Mickey's behalf! Gates will open at 5 PM: the first band TBA starting at 5:30 PM, with GIVERS closing out the show at 7 PM! SUGGESTED donation admission is $15, but all monetary donations will be accepted. No alcohol will be available at Mickey's benefit.

Story Photo

2 years ago

Searching Lake Martin for clues

Volunteers looking for Mickey Shunick are taking their search to St. Martin Parish.

Volunteers are out on boats and canoes on Lake Martin. They stress they aren't looking for Mickey, just any clues such as her bike which may give investigators a step forward in the investigation.

KATC's Jim Hummel is out in St Martin Parish as the search continues. He will have more on the efforts tonight at ten o'clock.

Story Photo

2 years ago

Donations Keep Search for Mickey Going

The amount of donations to fuel the search for Mickey Shunick continues to grow. Volunteers said they are overwhelmed by the community support that keeps them going.

Volunteer Margaret Bearb heads up the food donations; she can barely keep up with all of the donations flowing in.

"Still have things coming in, we just really appreciate all the community support, this family really needs it," said Bearb.

It's not just food and water, they receive money, supplies and basic necessities.

"We've had a dumpster delivered here, we have a porta-potty, we have toilet paper, paper towels, everything that is necessary to host the hundreds of volunteers who are showing up to participate in the search and outreach effort," said one of the volunteer coordinators, Kristen Kordecki.

Businesses are chipping in too, and not just with donations. Lamar is running more than 50 billboards in Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi. Officials at Lamar said they expect that the number of billboards will increase over the next few days. Walgreens is also helping by running information about Shunick on all of their marquees.

"Whether it's from the city, whether it's from a corporation, whether it's the next door neighbor, they're all here," said Kordecki.

All of the donations of money, supplies and food not only keep family, friends and volunteers going physically, but emotionally as well.

"We're very heartened to know that all we have to do is focus on bringing Mickey home and that everything else taken care of by the people around us," said Kordecki.

The show of support keeps their spirits up, one donation at a time.

Volunteers said Wednesday afternoon that they need more office supplies such as pens, pads of paper, post its and extension chords. They can also use more ice, coffee and tea and snack foods that are easy for search teams to carry with them.

If you'd like to donate money, there are two bank accounts set up. Donations to help the family and the search effort can be made at Midsouth Bank. Checks can be made out Shunick's sister, Charlene Shunick, and money should be deposited personally at the bank. Call Kordecki for more information at (337)323-9228.

Donations for police overtime and the reward are being accepted at Community Foundation of Acadiana "Mickey Shunick Fund." Those donations are tax deductable. For more information contact Linda at (337) 769-4840.

There is now a calendar sign up for donating meals to the family at http://helpmickeysfamily.webs.com/

2 years ago

Searching Lake Martin for Mickey Shunick

A group is meeting at Lake Martin at 5:00 p.m. to search the area for Mickey Shunick. Organizers say they haven't received any sort of tip, but they feel they are just covering their bases. They're asking for anyone with a boat/canoe/kayak who can meet them out there, to do so. Those on foot can help walk around the bird sanctuaries where the boats cannot reach. Everyone is meeting at the Pack and Paddle, and they'll be going out to Lake Martin for 5:00. If you need more information, call 852-0807.

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2 years ago

Veterans Now Leading Shunick Search Effort

Volunteer coordinators with the Mickey Shunick search party say military veterans with search experience are now leading the efforts to find Shunick. Night searches for the missing Lafayette woman are now being conducted. Coordinators say volunteers now need to sign up to go on these searches.

Lamar Advertising Company has donated billboards to the Mickey Shunick search effort. Volunteer coordinators say ice and snacks are needed, but other donors have stocked them with everything else they need.

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2 years ago

Reward in Shunick Case Increased

The reward in the Mickey Shunick search has been increased to $25,000. An anonymous donor originally offered a $10,000 reward Sunday. On Monday, the reward was doubled to $20,000.

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2 years ago

Solidarity Bike Ride to Be Held Tonight

Organizers of the Mickey Shunick search effort will hold a solidarity bike ride tonight. The ride will begin at Parc Sans Souci at 7:00 P. M. and will follow the route that Mickey would have taken home. According to organizer Brettly Wilson, the ride was organized for bicyclists to show solidarity in the effort to find one of their own. Wilson also says the bike ride is for search supporters to "take back the road."

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2 years ago

Mickey Shunick: What you need to know

1. Call the Lafayette, LA Police Department with ANY information or tips: 337-291-8600

2. Link to photos of Mickey and her bike. Nothing so far has been found - her purse, bike, phone, etc. Her phone was turned off sometime early Saturday morning. https://www.facebook.com/findmickeynow/photos

3. Reward offered: There is a $20,000 Reward for any information leading to the whereabouts of Mickey Shunick, no questions asked. We're told as more people contribute, that number could go up.

4. Quick facts: 21 year old Mickey Shunick was last seen at about 2:00 am on May 19th riding a black and gold Schwinn Madison bicycle with glittery gold handlebars from a friend's home in the Saint Streets area of Lafayette. She was riding back to her family's home to the area near Ambassador and Congress, but never made it home and hasn't been seen since. She is 5'1" tall, weighing about 115 pounds, has shoulder length curly blonde hair and blue eyes. She has a small tattoo of a bicycle on her right outer ankle and a nose ring on her left nostril.

She was last seen wearing a pastel multicolored striped shirt, light wash denim skinny jeans, and silver ankle boots. She was also carrying a light brown leather backpack, a black and yellow Vera Bradley wallet, a black Verizon slider phone and a small pink container of pepper spray.

4. Volunteer information: Volunteers meet at 100 Ryan Street, Lafayette, LA. Three experienced search leaders will lead an organized search at 1:00 and again at 5:00 on 5/23/12.
https://www.facebook.com/findmickeynow
https://www.facebook.com/events/359507344113948/

5. Spread the word: Tell people in person, on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit and wherever else you frequent online. The search is being expanded. Please forward messages about Mickey Shunick to friends and relatives in other states especially California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Share these photos, videos, links and pages listed below:
https://www.facebook.com/findmickeynow
https://www.facebook.com/events/359507344113948/
http://twitter.com/#!/MissingCases/status/204698032401432576/photo/1/large
http://www.reddit.com/search?q=mickey+shunick&sort=relevance
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTcnWwlKDMY
http://pinterest.com/pin/207306389067721505/

6. Print and post flyers.
Large image here (updated with $20,000 reward): http://twitter.com/#!/MissingCases/status/205134148749373441/photo/1/large

or have Fedex print them for you. Instructions here: https://www.facebook.com/findmickeynow/posts/335927406476504

7. Donate meals to Mickey's family. Pick a day and meal on this calendar: http://helpmickeysfamily.webs.com/

8. Donate supplies to volunteers (duct tape, staple guns with staples, printed flyers and signs updated with the $20,000 reward, mosquito repellent, flashlights, sunscreen, paper towels, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, fruits and veggies): 100 Ryan Street, Lafayette, LA.

9. Donate money to support the search efforts: Any and all donations are now being accepted at any Mid-South bank branch. Please make checks out to "Charlene Shunick" - currently, all donations are not tax-deductible, but are incredibly appreciated. Contact Kristen Kordecki for any further information at 337-323-9228.

If you would like to donate money that specifically goes towards the reward amount and extra police forces, you can now donate to the Community Foundation of Acadiana. The title of the fund is called the Mickey Shunick Fund. It is tax deductible and credit cards can be processed on the website, which is http://cfacadiana.org/giving/Contribute-to-a-Fund. Click on "Give to an existing fund" and type in the information that follows. For checks, make it out to Mickey Shunick Fund. The address is 1035 Camelia Blvd Suite 100 Lafayette, LA 70508. For any problems, contact Linda Dautreuil at 337-769-4840. Any help through donations are extremely appreciated!

10. She was reported missing 6:30 Saturday evening. Police put her in the missing person's national database and began interviewing neighbors in the Ryan Street area. Lafayette Police have about 40 officers working on this case full-time, plus other agencies have offered resources. Tuesday, they estimate 70 officers were working on the case actively. Other agencies helping include the Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office, State Police, FBI, St. Martin Parish Sheriff's Office and the St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office.

A volunteer, Allison Smith Breaux, compiled a lot of this information on her facebook page where she continues to update it. CLICK HERE for a link to the document. We'll also update this page as we find out new information.

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2 years ago

Hundreds Attend Vigil For Mickey Shunick

Hundreds gathered in Lafayette's Parc Sans Souci Tuesday night as a candlelight vigil was held for Mickey Shunick.

The 22 year old Lafayette woman disappeared early Saturday morning while riding her bicycle home. Her family is worked sick.

"We're a mess," said Mickey's mom Nancy Rowe. "We try to stay together out in public and then we go home and fall apart."

The family credits support from the community for giving them strength. Over the past four days more than 750 people have volunteered their time to search for Mickey and clues into her disappearance.

Multiple police agencies are working the case, but there were few developments Tuesday.
The reward for Mickey's return now stands at $20,000.
If you have any information, you're asked to contact the Lafayette Police Department.

"We want our daughter back and that will make everything better," said Rowe.

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2 years ago

Search for Mickey Shunick Goes Viral on Social Media, National Media

The search for Mickey Shunick has exploded on a national level and on social media. Before there were search parties on the ground, a Facebook campaign to find her was already in full swing.

An online team is working around the clock at the volunteer headquarters on Ryan Street. Their posts and videos are starting to go viral and it's helping to raise awareness and hopefully find Shunick.

Ashley Prado tirelessly scans Facebook, Twitter, BuzzFeed, Reddit... Any online sight that has any post about her close friend Mickey.

"We're really just trying to keep a lot of positivity on the pages, trying to focus on where Mickey could be, where she was last seen, if any of her belongings were found," said Ashley Prado, a close friend of Shunick.

Prado tirelessly scans Facebook, Twitter, BuzzFeed, Tumbr, Reddit, and online sight that has any post about her close friend. Shunick's story is spreading like wildfire, making it to national news media such as CNN, Good Morning America, Nancy Grace and Huffington Post.

The attention is due in part to the social media campaigns and two YouTube videos, that gained over 10,000 views within a matter of hours.

"It's so wonderful to see everyone jump on board and spread this around, to see that it's been picked up everywhere, it's amazing," said Josh Coen, heading up the online efforts.

Coen said he made the videos as another way to reach the masses and hopefully find Shunick.

"The video is more of a call to arms, to "join our army" basically is what the video is saying," said Coen. "To show people that we're not giving up and we're never going to give up until we find her."

Until then, they post and share, trying to reach as many people as possible.

"She's one of us, you know, if it was any other one of us missing I know that she'd be here," said Prado.

Friends of Shunick created a Facebook page called "Find Mickey Shunick Now" with videos and information posts. You can find a link to that page on our KATC Facebook page.

And be sure to watch Good Morning America on KATC Wednesday morning for the first national interview with Shunick's family.

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2 years ago

Day 4 and Still Looking for Mickey, Reward Now $20,000

Day 4 of the search for Micky Shunick started and ended the same; with no sign of her. Volunteers continue to donate money, supplies, and time trying to help in the process of finding her. The K-9 team came out today hoping for a scent, but no evidence has been found thus far.

"I think she's ok, I think she's alive. I think she's out there," Micky's sister Charlene Shunick said.

This evening, the reward for info to find Micky was raised from $10,000 to $20,000 in hopes that it will entice someone to say something.

Police are still working very hard to find her and have received numerous offers from other parish agencies, the FBI, and others if they need more help in the search.

"We are receiving calls on a regular steady basis. So that's a positive. People are still out there. They're still looking for information that could provide a key piece of evidence," Cpl. Paul Mouton said.

As hard as the last few days have been for the family they are still hopeful for the return of Micky.

"Just please, please take care of her and I don't know what you're doing with her but we'd really like her back. We'll give you all the money we have," Charlene Shunick said.

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2 years ago

The Search Continues for Mickey Shunick

The search for Mickey Shunick is in Day 3 as more volunteers showed up to 100 Ryan St. to help search for clues into her disappearance.

She was riding her bike home around 2 a.m. Saturday and hasn't been heard from since. Today volunteers showed up with supplies and continued the search.

"Every volunteer has been amazing. The outpouring from the community has been more than I could have imagined. People that don't even know Mickey, who don't even know her family have been coming to me and saying they will do anything to help," Ashley Says told us.

Volunteers were hitting the pavement along the route Shunick was believed to have traveled. A cell phone was phone this afternoon but it was later revealed that it did not belong to Micky.

Police are searching and following up on every tip they recieve but it's just a difficult case to crack.

"One of the difficult tasks is because of where she left the Saint Street area, to the destination where we believe she was traveling to. It's such a large area. It's a very wide scope for us to look at. We're canvasing and checking a lot of different businesses for video evidence," Corporal Paul Mouton said.

Tomorrow night a candle light vigil will be held in Parc Sans Souci in downtown Lafayette at 7:30 p.m. Friends, family and clergy will be on hand to speak and pray for Mickey's safe return.

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2 years ago

Lafayette detectives manning tips line for missing Lafayette woman

Lafayette police have opened up a tips line for information on the whereabouts of Michaela "Mickey" Shunick, the Lafayette woman who hasn't been seen since around 2:00 Saturday morning Detectives will answer phone calls for at least the next 24 hours. The number is 337-291-8633.

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2 years ago

Candlelight vigil for Mickey Shunick

A vigil will be held for Mickey Shunick at Parc Sans Souci in downtown Lafayette tomorrow night at 7:30. Clergy, friends and family will speak followed by candlelighting.

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2 years ago

Search for Lafayette woman intensifies

The search for Michaela "Mickey" Shunick has intensified. Today, Lafayette detectives have searched many areas, and Louisiana State Police and the FBI have offered resources to help in the investigation, according to Cpl. Paul Mouton. Shunick went missing Saturday after leaving a friend's home in the 100 block of Ryan Street around 2 a.m. She was wearing a pastel, multi-colored striped shirt, light wash skinny jeans and grey shoes. She has blonde hair, is 5'1" tall and weighs 115 pounds.

Shunick was riding a black Schwinn bicycle with gold handle bar grips and wearing a brown leather backpack purse. "It is believed that she was going to her residence near the intersection of Ambassador Caffery Parkway and Congress Street," said Mouton.

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2 years ago

Intense search efforts for Mickey Shunick

The search continues for Mickey Shunick on her 22nd birthday. Intense search efforts are being made by police, family and friends. KATC's Steven Albritton will have more on the search at 5 and 6.

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2 years ago

Community Rallies Together to Search for Mickey Shunick

Still no sign of 21-year-old Mickey Shunick.

She was last seen at around 2 o'clock Saturday morning when she left a friend's house in the Saint Streets area.
She was on her bike headed home to the area of Ambassador Caffery and West Congress, but she never made it home.

Mickey missed her brother's high school graduation Saturday, no one has been able to get in touch with her ever since.

Sunday, family and friends organized a search party, looking for clues and now a private donor is offering a ten thousand dollar reward for any information leading to the whereabouts of Mickey Shunick, no questions asked.
That donor is also hiring a private investigator, hoping to get answers to many unanswered questions.

Nearly one hundred people gathered on Ryan Drive where Mickey was last seen to canvas the area once again.
Family and friends knocking on doors, retracing Mickey's steps, and posting fliers.

"It doesn't take much of being around her to know how she is, how comfortable she is around other people, and how excited she is about life and everything that is going on. Something is clearly unusual with the circumstances," said search party organizer Brettly Wilson.

Although family and friends have canvassed this large area already near Cajun Field, they are searching areas such as drainage canals again for the slightest clue as to where Mickey could be.

"Mickey doesn't stay at other people's houses, Mickey doesn't have boyfriends, Mickey doesn't have people that are mad at her. Your usual suspects here really aren't going on. She really would have just been going home," said Wilson.

Family and friends are trying to keep their hopes up, but with each passing hour, that becomes more and more difficult.

"I don't think you realize what a special person this is and how many people she has touched, and what you've done. We just want her back. We want her safe. We want our friend."

Posters with her picture are posted throughout the area. Her friends and family ask if you've seen her or may have seen anything that might have been suspicious to please call Lafayette Police.

While the search party was ongoing Sunday, several neighbors did file police reports with Lafayette Police, saying they did see suspicious activity in the area.

The Lafayette Police Department have launched a missing persons case.

If you're interested in joining the search for Mickey, family and friends are looking for volunteers.

E-mail: findmickeyshunick@yahoo.com.

Chris Welty
cwelty@katctv.com

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2 years ago

Search party formed for missing Lafayette woman

A search party is looking for missing 21 year old, Mickey Shunick. The group is met at 100 Ryan Street off of West Congress. 21 year old Mickey Shunick (pictured) was last seen early Saturday morning riding a black and gold bike from a friends home in the Saint Streets area of Lafayette.... She was headed back home near Ambassador and Congress, but never made it home and hasn't been seen since. Anyone with information on where she maybe be is asked to call Lafayette Police.

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2 years ago

Police Looking for Missing Lafayette Woman

Lafayette Police and a local family need your help finding a missing woman. 21 year old Mickey Shunick (pictured) was last seen early Saturday morning riding a black and gold bike from a friends home in the Saint Streets area of Lafayette.... She was headed back home near Ambassador and Congress, but never made it home and hasn't been seen since. Anyone with information on where she maybe be is asked to call Lafayette Police.

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