The Huffington Post | By Andy Campbell
Police arrested and charged a registered sex offender with murder on Thursday in connection to the disappearance of Louisiana college student Mickey Shunick.
Brandon Scott Lavergne, 33, was collared at his house in Church Point, La., approximately six miles from where Shunick was last seen riding her bike on May 19, ABC News reported. Authorities charged the suspect with first-degree murder and aggravated kidnapping, though it wasn’t immediately clear how investigators connected him to the case.
Police made the arrest as St. Landry Parish sheriff’s deputies searched Lavergne’s home for evidence.
It took 47 days for investigators to announce a lead in the 22-year-old University of Louisiana student’s disappearance.
“We are relieved that the police have made an arrest,” Shunick’s sister, Charlie,wrote in a text message to The Daily 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.”
Lavergne was convicted in 2000 of aggravated oral sexual battery, according to the Louisiana State Police website. He was released from prison in 2008.
Shunick, a senior at the university, left her friend’s house on her bike before 2 a.m. on May 19. About a week later, surveillance footage surfaced showing her riding her bike the night she went missing.