(LAFAYETTE, La.) — The remains of missing Louisiana student Mickey Shunick have been positively identified by police.
The Lafayette Coroner’s Office sent Shunick’s medical and dental records to the Louisiana State University Faces Lab, where the identification was made. Her remains were sent there because her body was in the “advanced stages of decomposition,” according to Keith Talamo of the coroner’s office.
The body was excavated from a remote wooded area, along with some clothing and jewelry, earlier this week. Police said at the time that they “strongly believed” the remains belonged to Shunick, but were waiting for the coroner to confirm the identity.
The Lafayette Police Department announced the positive identification in a short, two-line news release.
“Investigators have identified the body discovered in Evangeline Parish as that of Michaela ‘Mickey’ Shunick,” the release said. “There will be no further comment on the Shunick investigation at this time.”
Shunick’s family has asked for privacy from the media, but told ABC News’ Lafayette affiliate WBRZ that they can now begin the healing process.
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,” Cpl. Paul Mouton of the Lafayette Police Department told ABC News.
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.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Eric Bradner, CNN
Jackie Wattles, CNN
Megan McNulty, Deseret News