(LAFAYETTE, La.) — Investigators who’ve expanded their search after combing the area where Michaela “Mickey” Shunick disappeared found surveillance video showing a glimpse of someone riding a bicycle who they believe could be the Louisiana student.
The footage is too blurry to tell whether the person is Shunick, a senior anthropology major at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, police said. The 22-year-old left a friend’s house on her bike last week after a night out, and hasn’t been heard from since.
As investigators and the woman’s family expand the search, even sending out a recorded plea for help mentioning a $25,000 reward for information, some people in the area where she vanished have begun to wonder whether Shunick was abducted at all.
“What concerns us is, where is her bicycle?” Det. Stephen Bajat of the Lafayette police department said. “If it is some kind of abduction, most people would snatch and go on and not concern themselves with the bicycle.”
Investigators searching for any clues have found no cellphone, purse or virtually any trace of Shunick since she left her friend’s house on her bicycle at 2 a.m. Saturday morning.
Hundreds of people from the community and beyond have come to aid in the search for Shunick. So many are coming to help that the volunteer headquarters had to be moved to the nearby university to accommodate them all.
Now Equusearch, the well-known search and recovery group, has turned out in force.
“We’re hoping for the best,” Tim Miller of Equusearch said. “We don’t sugarcoat anything. It does not look good, doesn’t look good at all, but we believe in miracles.”
A benefit concert is scheduled for the weekend to increase the $25,000 reward for information on what happened to Shunick.
She is 5-foot-1 and 115 pounds, and was last seen wearing a pastel multi-colored striped shirt, light-wash skinny jeans and gray shoes.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Chuck Johnston, CNN Newswire