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Remains found may be missing Louisiana student Mickey Shunick's, police say

MichaelaShunick1.jpg

This undated photo provided by the Lafayette Police Department shows missing college student Michaela Shunick. ((Lafayette Police Department))

Human remains found near a Louisiana highway are likely missing college student Mickey Shunick's, police say. Fox 8 reports authorities were notified of the remains Tuesday morning.

"The information was that... Mickey Shunick's body was buried about 100 yards beyond LA 10 down this roadway beyond a cemetery," said Lafayette Police Spokesperson Paul Mouton told the station. "The source and credible information is so exact that we feel very strongly that this is Mickey Shunick." 

Investigators say they are not "100 percent" positive the remains are Shunick's, but are confident they likely are. They will need to undergo tests over the next few days to obtain an official identification.

Shunick, a student at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, disappeared May 19, days before she turned 22. She was last seen riding away from a friend's house on black Schwinn bicycle, which was found in a swampy area at a highway exchange 25 miles away.

Brandon Lavergne, a 33-year-old registered sex offender from Swords, has been charged with both her kidnapping and murder and with the 1999 death of Lisa Ann Pate.

Prosecutors said in court filings last week that Lavergne may have moved both bodies and that "continued tampering" with Shunick's body was meant to hamper the investigation.

The Shunick family cannot say whether the body is hers "until an official press release is made by the proper officials," said a statement released by Margaret Bearb, a volunteer coordinator close to the family.

"Also, we ask that you please respect the Shunick family by allowing them the privacy they need at this time. It has been, and still is, a long journey in the search to find Mickey, so we truly feel that they deserve some time alone until they are ready to respond to the current rumor," the statement said.

Property outside of Lafayette Parish was being investigated in connection with Shunick's disappearance, but the location won't be released while the investigation continues, Cpl. Paul Mouton, a police spokesman, told The Associated Press.

Click for more from Fox 8.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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