What was evident, however, is that the Lafayette Police Department is confident that they have the man in custody who is responsible for the aggravated kidnapping and murder of Michaela “Mickey” Shunick, the pretty, 21-year-old University of Louisiana at Lafayette student, who was last seen riding her bicycle down St. Landry St. in Lafayette at 1:24 a.m. on May 19. Her body has yet to be recovered.
Lavergne, who appeared before a judge Friday morning, was asked if he had money for legal representation.
“Not for a case like this,” he responded. It was reported that the public defenders he was assigned were Crowley attorney Clay Lejeune and Burleigh Doga.
It is also being reported that due to the nature of this crime along with his past criminal history Lavergne is being kept in a cell away from other inmates for his own protection. Lavergne is said to being uncooperative with authorities at this time.
Craft stated that Lavergne’s truck was in the Whiskey Bay area where Shunick’s bike was found on May 26. Then on June 14, Lafayette police received at tip that a white truck was found burned in San Jacinto County, Texas. The truck has been determined to be registered to Lavergne and was also reported stolen in Montgomery County, Texas. Police wouldn’t say if Lavergne was the one who reported it stolen.
On July 5, authorities stopped Lavergne who was driving a new white truck on a traffic stop and he was arrested on a warrant related to registering as a sex offender. Apparently he had doctored his driver’s license which identified him as a registered sex offender. He was also booked on first degree murder and kidnapping charges.
Craft took questions from the throng of journalists who had gathered for the press conference, but refused to answer any questions about specific evidence such as DNA or the bags that were removed from Lavergne’s home Friday afternoon.
“We are still in the process of searching his home,” said Craft.
Along with the many reporters on hand for the press conference were a group of Shunick’s supporters and volunteers who had helped during the search since May 20. Many were in tears.
Craft was sure to acknowledge the many agencies that helped with the investigation including the FBI, U.S. Marshals, the Acadia, Iberville and Lafayette Sheriff’s Offices and, of course, his department which has been working around the clock since the beginning of the case.
“These types of partnerships led to the arrest,” he said. “I also know this has been a difficult ordeal for the Shunick family, there will be no rest until we recover her.”