Posted: Jul 6, 2012 2:42 PM by Melissa Canone
Updated: Jul 6, 2012 3:25 PM
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.