Man booked in missing La. student Michaela Shunick case

St. Landry Parish Sheriff's Office/AP
This undated photo provided by St. Landry Parish Sheriff's Office shows Brandon Scott Lavergne. Lavergne, a registered sex offender, has been booked on a charge of first-degree murder in connection with the disappearance last May of a Louisiana college student, authorities said.

Lafayette police have set a news conference to discuss an arrest in the case of a University of Louisiana student missing since May 19.

On Thursday, St. Landry Parish Sheriff Bobby Guidroz said Brandon Scott Lavergne, 33, was booked on first-degree murder and aggravated kidnapping charges in connection with the case. It was unclear whether he has an attorney who can comment on the case.

Guidroz said his department assisted the Lafayette police in searching Lavergne's residence for evidence, but didn't give details on what was found.

Michaela "Mickey" 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 in an area popular with college students.

Eight days after she vanished, local fishermen called a tip line to say they had found a bicycle partially submerged in a remote, swampy area under a highway bridge. Shunick's black Schwinn bicycle had a damaged rear tire when the fishermen found it about 25 miles from Lafayette in Iberville Parish.

Soon after she went missing, video surveillance of Shunick, a student at the University of Louisiana, captured her shortly after she left her friend's house. At the time, investigators said they were seeking information about a late model, white, four-door pickup truck seen on the video She is described as a white, 5-foot-1, 115 pound female with long, wavy blonde hair.

Friday's news conference is set for 1 p.m.

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 and was released in 2008.

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