[UPDATE: Independent sources close to the investigation, who asked not to be identified, say Lavergne told authorities where to find Shunick's body. This story has been altered to reflect new information.]
A body found in rural Evangeline Parish near a small church cemetery off La. 10 is believed to be that of missing UL Lafayette student Mickey Shunick.
Law enforcement officials say a female body has been found, and they are confident it is that of Shunick. However, the scene is still being processed, and some forensic analysis will likely be needed to confirm the identity of the victim, Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft says. "Hopefully, we'll have additional information by tomorrow morning," Craft says, noting that confirmation could even come tonight.
Craft would not say what information led the task force investigating Shunick's death to the Evangeline Parish site but did reiterate that he believes Brandon Scott Lavergne acted alone when he allegedly kidnapped and killed her. "He operated by himself," the chief says.
It remains unclear to what extent the 33-year-old sex offender accused of murdering the 21-year-old college student is cooperating with authorities. Police said shortly after Lavergne's July 5 arrest that he was uncooperative; however, sources close to the investigation tell The Independent that officials were acting on information they received from Lavergne when they searched the grave site near the small cemetery between Reddell and Oakdale and found the body this morning. Those sources asked not to be identified.
"I can't comment on that," Craft said when asked whether Lavergne led investigators to the location.
Lafayette Police spokesman Cpl. Paul Mouton told The Advocate that investigators found the body after receiving "very credible" information about its location.
The lead prosecutor in the state's case against Lavergne is not talking. "I cannot answer any questions," Assistant District Attorney Keith Stutes told The Independent late Tuesday afternoon.