LAFAYETTE, La. (WGMB) — Around 7:00 a.m. Thursday morning, a search party set out to search three suspicious plots of overturned dirt, which investigators thought could be the shallow grave of missing UL student Mickey Shunick.
Meanwhile friends and family of Mickey sat with baited breathe hoping for the best, but knowing this search could mean the end of a months long nightmare.
“We still have hope. The body hasn't been found and that's the main thing," Tom Shunick, Mickey’s dad, explained on Thursday.
It's been a roller coaster ride of ups and downs for the Shunick family. A tip from a farmer had lead deputies to a heavily wooded area 12 miles west of Opelousas, to what may have been three possible grave sites.
"I don't want to say that we were hoping we would find her remains but we hope for the family's sake she's alive. But if it was miss. Shunick we were prepared to do what we had to do,” Bobby Guidroz, St. Landry Parish Sheriff, said after the search uncovered nothing.
"It was a positive and a negative, but naturally when the good news came that it wasn't her we were rather elated. There were tears of joy in here instead of tears of negativity,” Margaret Bearb, volunteer coordinator, added.
Mickey's father Tom said even though the news of late hasn't been great and the search has been going on for months he's still got a sliver of hope in his heart.
"There's a very slim hope. But there is some hope. I mean the family has got to hang on to some hope. If her body is out there, the sooner they can find it and we can get some closure on this thing,” Shunick said.
Sheriff Guidroz said the mounds of dirt thought to possibly be graves were between five and six feet long, and could have easily could have been made by an animal.
Mickey's dad says he's ready for closure in his daughter's disappearance.