Photo by Robin May
The gravel road leading to the small church cemetery in Evangeline Parish where the body of Mickey Shunick was found Tuesday

Forensics will confirm within a couple of days what law officials already believe, but as of 8:20 p.m. Tuesday it appears the search for Mickey Shunick is over.

“We will not get a positive ID until at least the next 24 to 36 hours is what they’re telling me,” says Cpl. Paul Mouton, Lafayette Police spokesman. “We do feel strongly though that this is Mickey Shunick. We just can’t say for 100 percent that it is in fact her until the experts have an opportunity to examine her.”

The body was found in a grave near a small cemetery on La. Hwy. 10 in rural Evangeline Parish between Reddell and Oakdale. “As far as the depth of the grave, it was fairly deep,” says Mouton. “They didn’t give me a measurement, though. But it, she, the body was beneath the surface,” he says, but then reiterates “we can’t confirm if it was male or female at this time. Again, though, we believe strongly that, you know, at the end of this we will get the confirmation that it is Mickey. But again, we have to wait for the experts.”

Mouton says he was not told the condition of the body by investigators on the scene, however clothing and jewelry “and things of that nature” were found with the body.

Photo by Dominick Cross

Forensic team members work on a deep gravesite near a cemetery in Evangeline Parish where the body of Mickey Shunick was found.

And so the coroner will be looking at the body, obviously, to do the positive identification,” he says. “But also they’ll be working with investigators to identify any evidence that they may have been found at the scene.”

Mouton says officials believe the body is Shunick, the 21-year-old UL Lafayette coed who has been missing since May 19, based on confidence “from the course of the investigation and also the credible information we received,” he says.

Mouton would not say who the credible source is, but The Independent's sources say it is Brandon Scott Lavergne, a convicted sex offender who was arrested July 5 and charged with the kidnapping and murder of the student.

Photo by Robin May
 A Lafayette Parish Coroner's van leaves the scene with the remains of the body of Mickey Shunick. The body was found in a grave about 100 yards down a gravel road off of La. 10. Members of the media were blocked from the search area. 

Law enforcement from the Evangeline Sheriff’s Department, the Lafayette Police Department and the Lafayette Parish Coroner's Office were all working on the scene about 100 yards down a gravel road in a wooded area off of La. 10.

“The investigators have have wrapped the processing of the scene here,” says Mouton.  “The body, which has not been yet confirmed as Mickey Shunick, will be transported back by the Lafayette Parish Coroner’s Office to Lafayette Parish where it will be examined in the next couple of days.”

Mouton says the coroner’s office will make a conclusion based on the body and articles found in the “large area” where the body was found. “They took in a lot of material, not only dirt, but also articles, along with the body. So there’s a lot of evidence to be examined and to be processed.”

Photo by Robin May  
LPD Command Mobile Center leaves the scene where the body of Mickey Shunick was found off Hwy. 10 between Reddell and Oakdale
Photo by Robin May
Lafayette Police and Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Department officials cordone off the area where Mickey Shunick's remains where found.

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