(LAFAYETTE, La.) — The body that police believe belongs to missing Louisiana student Mickey Shunick was excavated from a remote wooded area along with some clothing and jewelry.
“Right now, the body is in the hands of the coroner’s office and forensic experts,” Cpl. Paul Mouton of the Lafayette Police Department told ABC News today. “We feel very strongly that this is Mickey Shunick. We just can’t say with 100 percent certainty that it is, in fact, hers.”
Mouton said it could take “a day or two” before the body can be positively identified. The body was found in a remote wooded area near a cemetery, about 45 miles from where Shunick disappeared.
“There were some things such as clothing and jewelry that were removed from the site,” Mouton said. The site has been fully excavated and the crime scene has already been released, he said.
Mouton said that Shunick’s family has not seen the remains or the items that were found, but that police are in “constant contact” with the family.
Shunick, 22, was a senior at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette when she vanished on May 19. She was last seen about 2 a.m. riding her bike from the home of her friend Brettly Wilson.
Brandon Scott Lavergne, a registered sex offender, was arrested and charged with Shunick’s murder and aggravated kidnapping last month.
Mouton said authorities were directed to the body on a tip, but did not specify where the very detailed tip came from.
Shunick’s family released a statement Tuesday night saying it is aware of what the police have found and family members are awaiting positive identification.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Billy Hallowell, Deseret News
Lisa Respers France, CNN
Emanuella Grinberg, CNN
Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com