The family of Mickey Shunick are still hopeful that she's alive, which adds an even sadder element to this already tragic case. Nonetheless, investigators have expressed that the missing Louisiana anthropology student was abducted and murdered by Brandon Scott Lavergne. While having a small shred of hope for a positive outcome is important in the grieving process of these missing persons cases, investigators and the sort aren't in the business of giving false hope to family members. However, it would be nice if the officials on this case provided more information as to what led them to believe the young woman was murdered. It would help in giving those close to Michaela "Mickey" Shunick a nudge toward the closure they will eventually receive as this impending trial commences.
In the meantime, critical thought processes and and a little research on the case may reveal just how serious this is. Brandon Scott Lavergne has been in and out of trouble a lot in his life, and the fact that he's been indicted on a cold case out of 1999 speaks volumes of the severity of the latest charge against him. In fact, knowing just how sinister this man's past is makes it even more apparent that Mickey Shunick was violated and murdered by the man.
Sometime in 1999, just before Lavergne was convicted and sentenced to 10 years for a brutal home invasion and sexual assault, missing woman Lisa Pate turned up murdered. There are very details on this woman's case, but it's recently been revealed that Lavergne was a suspect at the time, but was unable to be indicted on lack of evidence. Still, he did 8 1/2 years of his 10 year sentence on an unrelated but clearly related crime. Now the grand jury feels there is enough evidence against him in this 13-year-old cold case, so he's been charged with Pate's murder as well as the murder of Michaela Shunick. So what other cold cases in Louisiana have been investigated? Police haven't acknowledged which ones, but some research has turned out the following cases that are unsolved in the state:
- Kassie Lynn Federer was found in her apartment shot to death in 1999. The Baton Rouge woman was only 19 years old, and very attractive much like Mickey Shunick. Her murder has never been solved and there isn't much information on the crime committed.
- Randi Jane Mebruer vanished in 1998 from Zachary, Louisiana. She and her young son had walked to a video store and returned home on the night of April 18, 1998. They went to sleep and the following morning the woman was gone. This case has been connected to serial killer Derrick Todd Lee, but who knows? She's never been located.
There are many more unsolved cases in LouisianaÂ—too many to list. Could Brandon Scott Lavergne be connected to any of them? Considering he has a presumed past of arson, and a confirmed past of home invasion and sexual assault on women, it's safe to say that this man is a serial predator. He got sloppy this time, and hopefully the disappearance and murder of Michaela "Mickey" Shunick is the last notch on his belt.
While those interested in this case continue on their own research, it would still be nice for officials in this case to reveal just what leads them to believe that Mickey has been murdered.
Crime analyst and profiler Chelsea Hoffman can be found on The Huffington Post, Chelsea Hoffman: Case to Case and many other outlets. Follow @TheRealChelseaH on Twitter or click here to contact Chelsea directly.