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Sex offender charged with killing co-ed
A 33-year-old man has been charged with murder in the disappearance of a University of Louisiana student who had been missing since May 19.
Brandon Scott Lavergne, a 33-year-old registered sex offender, was arrested Thursday by Lafayette, La., police and charged with aggravated kidnapping and first-degree murder in connection with the disappearance of Mickey Shunick, The Daily Advertiser, Lafayette, La., reported.
Shunick, 22, was last seen May 19 riding her bicycle near downtown Lafayette. Her bike was discovered May 27 in Whiskey Bay, about 30 miles east of Lafayette.
Lavergne was held at Lafayette Parish Jail. Bond was set at $250,000 on the aggravated kidnapping charge, and no bond was set on the capital murder charge.
“We are relieved that the police have made an arrest,” Shunick’s sister, Charlie Shunick, said in a text message to the Advertiser. “The circumstances are pretty distressing. If she is gone, it is a void in the fabric of the world and a devastating blow to our family.”
Police were to provide more details on the arrest at a news conference at 1 p.m. Friday.
Lavergne was convicted in 2000 of aggravated oral sexual battery and was on probation until November 2010, the St. Landry Parish Sheriff sex-offender database indicates.
He is listed as a Tier 3 sex offender, the most serious classification, which requires offenders to register with a national sex-offender registry for life.
Surveillance video shows a woman police believe to be Shunick riding her bike just before 2 a.m. in Lafayette followed a minute later by a white pickup truck.
The sex-offender database indicates one of Lavergne’s vehicles is a white 2011 Chevrolet Silverado pickup, and the police have said white pickups were among vehicles of interest in the investigation.
Copyright 2012 by United Press International