UL Lafayette student Mickey Shunick disappeared this weekend after a late-night bike ride home and family and friends are asking the community to help find her.
Shunick, 21, left from Ryan Street in the Saint Streets area about 2 a.m. Saturday morning and appeared to be following her normal route to her home on Governor Miro, near the corner of Ambassador and Congress streets. But she failed to arrive home in time for her brother’s graduation the following morning — something family and friends agreed was “atypical” behavior for Shunick. Friends and family immediately organized a flyer distribution and search for Shunick.
“Mickey doesn’t stay at other people’s houses, Mickey doesn’t have boyfriends, Mickey doesn’t have people that are mad at her,” says Brettly Wilson, who was the last person to see Shunick before she disappeared. “The usual suspects here aren’t really going on. She really would have just been going home, just a normal situation, taking the usual path.
“Everyone from the days leading up to it had heard her talking about [her brother’s graduation],” continues Wilson. “She was so excited about it, and it was completely out of the ordinary for her not only to not show up at home, but to not be at the graduation or be at her house before that. Something is clearly unusual with the circumstances.”
Though Shunick went missing Saturday morning, the Lafayette Police Department cannot launch an investigation until 48 hours after a person has gone missing, so the investigation did not start until Monday morning.
“I understand the utilitarian purpose of the 48-hour watch limit, but that is a good time to assess what that means for people who really are missing,” says Wilson. “I understand that they’re inundated with calls with a myriad of people thinking someone has gone missing and there being miscommunications, but 1 percent of infinity is still infinity. Treating this as if there’s been some miscommunication when it’s possible that something worse has happened to her — that’s felt by everyone here [at the Sunday morning search], and I feel like we’re all frustrated with that.
“We can’t reconcile the fact that proper procedure means that she might not be found as soon as possible. Not being able to look within 24 hours and running across campus police and other police while we’re out with flashlights, hearing them say they’ll keep their ear to the ground is infuriating. Just as her friend, it’s incredibly frustrating.”
Wilson and the rest of the search party have been canvassing Lafayette with flyers and continus to look for clues that may lead to Shunick’s discovery. Shunick was on a black bike with gold handlebars, wearing a striped pastel shirt, stonewashed jeans, gray shoes and sunglasses. She also had a silver bell on her bike along with multiple bike lights, which Wilson says could have easily fallen off. Shunick has blonde curly hair, is about 5-feet-1 and weighs 115 pounds.
“I don’t think you realize what a special person she is and how many people she has touched,” says Wilson, becoming visibly upset. “I think so many people can attest to what an incredible person Mickey is. She’s just an energetic, vibrant, active person. We just want her back. We want her safe.”
Wilson askes the community to pay attention around the Saint Streets and Congress, and to keep an eye out for Shunick’s bike at pawn shops. Wilson also emphasizes reposting and sharing Shunick’s picture on social media websites to help spread the word. Facebook users can find updates on the “FIND MICKEY SHUNICK NOW” page.
If someone has information that could lead to Shunick’s discovery, they are asked to contact the Lafayette Police Department at (337) 291-8600; Shunick’s mother Nancy at (337) 277-2751; or Wilson at (337) 704-1320.