The body of Mickey Shunick was discovered yesterday in Evangeline, which is an area that has ties to the suspect regarding other crimes in his past. That's not the only update in this story. It appears that detectives believe they know almost exactly what happened to the missing anthropology major. While not all of the details are being released, you should only read below this paragraph if you have a strong stomach.
It's believed that on May 19, 2012 Brandon Scott Lavergne "forcibly seized" Michaela "Mickey" Shunick before transporting her to another location. The mode he may have used to abduct her could be by purposely hitting her with his truck while she was riding her bike. That would explain the dented, bent wheel. He held her hostage, refusing to release her. That is when he "forced her to engage in non-consensual acts," while abusing her sexually and inflicting physical injury to her body. In other words, he most likely tortured and raped the missing Louisiana woman until he was done with her, and then he killed her.
Police believe that Brandon moved Mickey and all of her belongings to another location, but then continued transporting her from location to location as a means to "distort the results of the criminal investigation." In other words, it seems that they believe that Brandon Lavergne knew he was being eyed in her disappearance; so he took measures to keep detectives from finding the woman or other evidence tying him to the crime.
Fast forward to yesterday; police have confirmed that they believe to have found the remains of the young woman. She was buried in a wooded area near a remote cemetery in Evangeline -- the same region where Brandon had previously sexually assaulted another woman in the late 1990s. As stated in a previous article here on Gather News, serial predators often return to areas where they feel safe and more comfortable. It would be interesting to find out if there are any other similar unsolved cases surrounding Evangeline -- or better yet, if any out-of-state bodies may be located in this region. Brandon Scott Lavergne traveled a lot it seems.
The official release by Lafayette Police Department states that investigators were working on credible information that led them to the rural cemetery near the body of Michaela Shunick. They are not 100% sure the body is that of the missing woman, but are pretty sure. Identification can take a few days.
Any guess as to what this credible tip was that led them in the direction of her remains? The court filings released indicate that there are people who knew about the murder of the young woman, but remained silent. It says that these people could be charged as "accomplices after-the-fact." If that's so, then they most certainly deserve it. Maybe one of these people cracked under the pressure of knowing that they could be serving jail time and squealed on Lavergne.
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.