(Due to the evolving nature of this story, we will have updates’ as new information becomes available. By ‘Updates’, we mean that we will not post a “new” story, we will place the newest information at the top of this story, with earlier postings, chronologically, to follow.)
Lafayette City Police cancelled the press briefing that was to be held today at 3pm. They are still asking residents and business owners to review any surveillance footage from early Saturday morning (5/19/12), between 1:30 and 3am, for any signs of Mickey Shunick or a white, four-door, late-model pick-up truck.
Volunteer organizers are moving the search headquarters to Blackham Coliseum at 7pm today. Any able-bodied volunteers who can assist in the move are asked to show up at Our Lady of Wisdom Center on campus before 7pm to help with the move.
Organizers remind all volunteers that you must present a valid id/driver’s license and get signed in before heading out to search or lending a hand at the command center.
In an effort to decrease the number of false rumors and to help authorities concentrate on credible leads, Mickey’s sister, Charlene Shunick, posted the following on Facebook yesterday:
Anyone with any information can call the Mickey Shunick Tip Line at 337-291-8633.
There will be a benefit show at Parc International tomorrow to help raise funds for search efforts. Gates open at 5pm, Vagabond Swing and Givers will be performing. There is a suggested $15 donation for entry.
Lafayette Police Department
Lafayette Police Department
Lafayette Police Department
Detectives were able to identify a bicyclist believed to be
Mickey Shunick traveling on Versailles Blvd and Saint Landry Street. At approximately 1:47 am the bicyclist is captured on Versailles Blvd traveling towards St. John Street. She then traveled on St. John Street and crossed over University Avenue, continuing west on St. Landry Street where she was captured on video at approximately 1:48 am. Investigators are seeking information regarding a white newer model four door pickup truck, which was captured on video after Mickey Shunick traveled on both streets.
Anyone with information about the case of the pickup truck is encouraged to call the tips line at 337-291-8633 or Crime Stoppers at 337-232-TIPS.
(UPDATE: 7:50pm) URGENT UPDATE: Police believe that they have found video of Mickey Shunick on her bicycle in the downtown area. Please click on
this link to study the white pick-up truck in the photograph. Police would like to speak to the owner of the white late-model pickup. If you have any information, please call 337-291-8633 immediately.
(UPDATE: 3pm, 5/25/12) The Lafayette Police Department held a news conference today at 3pm and the Find Mickey Shunick headquarters site on UL’s campus. Corporal Paul Mouton said that there was
no new information to disseminate regarding the Mickey Shunick case.
Charlene Shunick, Mickey’s sister, spoke about the condition of the family, relaying that they were getting rest and were in high spirits.
One of the volunteers mentioned that they have plenty of food and office supplies, but that they were still in need of monetary donations as well as physical volunteers.
Authorities are asking that everyone search their own property for any clues in the disappearance of Mickey Shunick, and if you think you find anything, do not hesitate to call. All leads are being followed up on. Also, if you have a security/surveillance camera at your home or business, they are asking that you review the footage from 1:30 am – 3:00 am Saturday morning, 5/19/12. If you see anything that may be related to the case, call the hotline at 337-291-8633
(UPDATE: 7pm, 5/24/12) Scott Brazda from our sister station NewsTalk 96.5 KPEL interview Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft this afternoon. (Some of the gaps, pauses, and other portions of this interview not pertaining to Mickey Shunick have been edited).
Here is Part 1:
Here is Part 2:
(UPDATE: 11am, 5/24/12) Good Morning America, Headline News Television (HLN), Yahoo! and CNN are just some of the national news agencies that are picking up on the Mickey Shunick story, and the exposure is helping to spread the word of her disappearance.
Celebrities are beginning to Tweet and re-Tweet pictures and links about Mickey; donations are pouring in from all over the world,
an official website has been launched, and local organizers have put together a benefit concert for Sunday, May 27, at Parc International in Lafayette.
Bring your friends
As of 10am today, the official headquarters will move from 100 Ryan Street to the Our Lady of Wisdom Center at the corner of St. Mary and McKinley Street on the UL campus. The new headquarters location provides more room for the growing number of donated items and volunteers, but also affords volunteer workers a respite from the heat and sun.
The new website is
several things that you can do to help, even if you are nowhere close to Lafayette, Louisiana. For those who are near Lafayette, please check YOUR OWN PROPERTY! Please, walk the entire area of your property to check for clues. If your property covers several acres, get in touch with the command center for the search team and ask for volunteers to help you search. If you own a business, organize your employees to search TODAY! It is imperative that every square inch of this parish is searched for clues which might help authorities piece together what happened to Mickey.
We can only hope that everyone will do SOMETHING to help with the search. At the very least,
please share this link on your website, Facebook/Social Media site, or email it to friends and family. We need to continue to get the word out about Mickey Shunick. Someone, somewhere, knows something.
(UPDATE: 6:00 p.m., 5/23/12) The founder and director of Texas Equusearch, a nonprofit group that specializes in missing persons cases, is en route to Lafayette to meet with the Shunick family and police. The group has been asked to assist with the search.
(Update as of 2pm, 5/23/12)
Here is the latest information, compiled today at 2pm:
Just got back from their base camp on Ryan Street. Many of you may already be aware of some of these things:
* The reward money has gone up to a ‘capped’ amount of $25,000. We understand that the reward will not be increased after today.
* They were scheduled to be on Good Morning America this morning. They were pre-empted by breaking national news. A reporter is on her way from New York City, and a producer is on her way from Houston. Both will be in town this afternoon.
* There will be a Solidarity Bike Ride tonight at 7:00 p.m. starting at Parc Sans Souci. They will go down the route Mickey may have taken. Good Morning America will be on hand for this event. GMA will film search and rescue efforts.
* Will be on with Nancy Grace live tomorrow.
* Port Barre Fire Team were there this morning to help with search efforts.
* Efforts are underway to begin searching Lake Martin. They are looking for boats, canoes, dredging materials, etc. They’re meeting at the lake tonight at 5:00 p.m.
* The group has plenty of water and food. They need things like post-it notes, legal pads, printing paper, pens, markers, power strips and other office materials.
* They need a few generators.
* They need caps with bills on them.
* Gator Water for skin.
* The Lamar Advertising for putting missing notices on digital billboards throughout the state.
* UL Student Government Association is working with the group.
* Live appearance on CNN today and everyday until Mickey is found.
* Nurses are on hand to watch over the health of the search volunteers because of the hot weather.
* Installing 20 X 10 tent so volunteers can stay the night if they have to.
Mickey Shunick vigil
photo by KPEL
LAFAYETTE, La.–Hundreds gathered Tuesday night at Park Sans Souci in Lafayette for a candlelight vigil in honor of 22-year-old Mickey Shunick, the UL Lafayette anthropology student who went missing early Saturday morning. Her disappearance has sparked an intense search effort by family, friends and law enforcement, and her story has garnered the attention of national and international media outlets, including ABC’s “Good Morning America,” who was on hand for the event.
“We just can’t say enough about how appreciative we are–how amazed we are at the huge turnout, the community support,” said Brettly Wilson, a close friend of Shunick’s and the last person to see her. “It’s really manifested here tonight.”
That support was given a number in terms of the volunteers who have stopped by the Ryan Street home that is being used as an unofficial base of operations for the local search effort. More than 450 people have stopped by the home to volunteer their time, whether that time is spent in canvassing neighborhoods and businesses with flyers or in searching areas where Shunick may have ridden past on her bicycle, the group announced.
It was also evident in the generous contribution of an unnamed donor; the reward for any information that leads to the return of Shunick now stands at $20,000, up from $10,000 thanks to that donation.
A panel of Shunick’s family and closest friends also called on the community at-large to continue talking about her, especially on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.
“Everyone has been asking all of us, ‘What can I do?’,” said Josh Coen, another of Shunick’s close friends. “And that’s talk, connect. Tell everyone you know. Facebook has been an amazing tool…Re-blog it, re-post.”
The speed at which the group’s Find Mickey Shunick Now Facebook page has gained followers has been nothing short of amazing. Monday morning, just over 900 users had ‘liked’ the page. As of Tuesday night, that number was more than 7,000. The passion and fervor of Shunick’s supporters can be seen by simply viewing the news feeds of even the most disconnected Facebook profiles. Many users have changed their profile pictures to images of Shunick. Many more have shared the literally hundreds of posts and links about the case.
The quick spread of information has led to the story being picked up by the Huffington Post, Fox News, Nancy Grace, CNN, “Good Morning America”, and many others. A crew from the ABC morning show arrived toward the end of the event; they are in town to interview the Shunick family for a segment that will air Wednesday morning.
Many members of Lafayette’s cycling community also made their presence known at the vigil. Around the perimeter of the park, bicycles dotted nearly every light and sign post, and as the crowd dispersed at the end of the event, the sheer number of bikes on the road was noticeable.
Shunick vigil 2
(photo by KPEL)
But just as the vigil served as a public session for the most up-to-date information on the search for Shunick, it was even more so an emotional outlet for the many who confidently believe that she is still alive and that she will be returned safely.
Ashely Says, another of Shunick’s friends (she has many), poured out her heart and her feelings about Shunick. Moved to the point of tears, she needed the help of friends to complete her thoughts.
Says described Shunick as a dependable friend whom she could approach with any topic, no matter how personal. Shunick is also an avid cyclist, is extremly athletic and is a lover of horses. According to the group, she works on a horse farm, and she owns two of her own horses.
“It’s been a very long and grueling few days,” she said. “We haven’t lost hope, and we know that we’re going to find her very soon.”
A Catholic priest led the vigil in prayer, while a Methodist pastor started the candle lighting ceremony. Probably the most palpable moments, though, followed. A singer and guitarist duo played an emotionally stirring rendition of the Beatles “All You Need Is Love.” The many in attendance joined in singing the chorus, their lit candles gently swaying in front of them. By the end of the song, tears were flowing from the eyes of several in the audience and of those on the stage.
Shunick vigil 3
(photo by KPEL)
Shunick was last seen when she was leaving Wilson’s home on Ryan Street at about 2 a.m. Saturday. Her home near the intersection of Ambassador Caffery Parkway and Congress Street would have taken about 30 minutes to reach on bike, but she never made it there. Her family became even more worried when she didn’t make it to her brother’s graduation Saturday night.
An unofficial search by friends and family began the following day. Officials from several agencies, including Lafayette Police, Louisiana State Police, and the FBI, began a search in earnest Monday, sweeping Shunick’s presumed bike path on foot, horse, car, and helicopter. So far, there has been no break in the case, though police say they are following up on all leads. Police have set up a telephone tipline, 337-291-8633, for any information that may lead to the discovery of where Shunick may be.
As the investigation continues, though, friends and family say they will not give up in their search for her, and they refuse to believe a worst case scenario may have occurred.
“Mickey loved this community, and obviously this community loved Mickey,” Says said, “and we just want our friend back–we just want her home.”