Suspect charged with aggravated kidnapping and first degree murder
LAFAYETTE, La. (WVLA) — The Lafayette Police Department held a press conference on Friday, July 6 to update the public in regards to the arrest made in the Mickey Shunick investigation. Police Chief Jim Craft detailed how Brandon Scott Lavergne of Church Point, La., was identified as a suspect, but provided little details regarding why he was charged with first degree murder and aggravated kidnapping.
FROM THE LAFAYETTE POLICE PRESS CONFERENCE:
Arrested suspect Brandon Scott Lavergne. He is charged with aggravated kidnapping and first degree murder of Mickey Shunick. (Lafayette, La. Police Dept.)
“I must caution all of you that although an arrest has been made in this case, much work is left to be done,” Chief Craft said. “On May 19, the Shunick family reported Mickey missing… On May 25, video evidence was recovered from a Lafayette government building that captured Mickey on her bike."
“Several vehicles were also captured on the video and broadcast to the public. All the vehicles of interest were ruled out except for a white, Chevrolet Z 71 pickup truck. The driver, as well as the vehicle, was never identified, nor did anyone come forward."
“On May 26, Mickey’s bike was located under the Whiskey Bay Bridge with damage to rear tire, consistent with being struck by a vehicle."
“On June 14, investigators received information from a concerned citizen regarding a white Z 71 pickup that may be involved in Mickey’s disappearance. The vehicle in question was registered to Brandon Lavergne."
“Further investigation revealed that this truck was reported stolen in Montgomery County, Texas and later located in San Jacinto County, Texas, on May 21. The truck had been burned. It was just days after the truck was located that the police had released photographs of that vehicle being 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 were also able to place Brandon Lavergne in and around the location of where the bicycle was located beneath the Whiskey Bay Bridge."
"Thursday July 5, Louisiana State Police conducted a traffic stop on Lavergne at the intersection of I-10 and I-49. He was arrested on an unrelated warrant and he was transported to the Lafayette Police Department. During questioning Lavergne was questioned and requested an attorney. He refused to cooperate with our investigation any further."
“At that time he was charged with the aggravated kidnapping and first degree murder of Mickey Shunick."
“We will not rest until we fully understand what happened to Mickey,” he concluded.
Prior arrest documents on Lavergne show that he was convicted on February 18, 2000, on a charge of aggravated oral sexual battery and is listed as a sex offender.
Shunick was last seen on Saturday May 19 at 2:00 a.m. The now 22 year old anthropology major at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette left the home of Brettly Wilson and headed home on her bicycle. No one has seen or heard from her since.