Truck found burned in San Jacinto Co. linked to La. kidnapping case

Mickey Shunick photo. (Source: Lafayette, La. Police Dept.)
Mickey Shunick photo. (Source: Lafayette, La. Police Dept.)
Brandon Scott Lavergne photo. (Source: KLFY-TV)
Brandon Scott Lavergne photo. (Source: KLFY-TV)

Posted By Charlie Haldeman - email

Lafayette, LA (KPLC) - The suspect accused of being involved in the disappearance of a Lafayette college student is refusing to cooperate with authorities, police said.

The arrest is the only one in the case of Mickey Shunick, who was reported missing May 19.

Brandon Scott Lavergne, 33, was booked on first degree murder and aggravated kidnapping charges in connection with the disappearance of Shunick, according to Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft.

Police said Friday they believe Shunick is dead, but Craft wouldn't give details about why they believe she is no longer alive. Craft said investigators believe Shunick was abducted in Lafayette between St. Mary St. and Blackham Coliseum.

Security video cameras captured a white pickup truck in the same area Shunick was last seen riding her bicycle in Lafayette May 19.

Lavergne's white Chevrolet Z-71 pickup was found burned in San Jacinto County, Texas.  He was taken into custody on unrelated charges by Louisiana State Troopers near I-10 and I-49 in Lafayette Parish Thursday afternoon.

In a press conference Friday, Craft said hundreds of people had been questioned related to the case. 

Lavergne appeared before a judge in a video conference Friday morning.  He was placed in critical care while in custody.  Deputies say the move is to protect Lavergne from other inmates.

Shunick was last seen shortly before 2 a.m. on May 19, days before her 22nd birthday. She was riding her bicycle home from a friend's house.

Authorities searched Lavergne's St. Landry Parish residence for evidence Thursday. The state's online list of registered sex offenders says Lavergne was convicted of aggravated oral sexual battery in 2000.

Copyright 2012 KPLC.  All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press and KATC-TV contributed to this report.