Search expands for Mickey Shunick as friends, family remain hopeful
POSTED: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - 6:15pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - 6:19pm
LAFAYETTE, LA (NBC33) — Tension continues to grow in Lafayette as the search for a missing woman moves into day five. Last night, Tuesday, May 22, a massive group of roughly 500 people gathered for a candle light vigil in Parc Sans Souci.
“It’s been the community showing their complete support for finding Mickey, for bringing her home,” Brettly Wilson, the last person to see Mickey Shunick alive, said about the vigil. “It’s giving us all hope.”
The grass-roots campaign to find Mickey Shunick has attracted the attention of a national audience.
“It’s a really crazy feeling. This is Lafayette, Louisiana. We never thought it could garner this much attention,” Ashley Says, a close friend of Mickey Shunick and one of the organizers of the search party, explained.
Multiple law enforcement agencies continue to seek clues and follow up leads that come in to a devoted hotline. However, that search has not turned up any solid evidence.
“Right now we don’t have anything concrete to go on,” Cpl. Paul Mouton, Lafayette Police Department, said about the investigation. “We’re still following up leads that have come in from the tip line, and we’ve expanded our search to include different areas of the parish based on what we feel could have happened.”
What did happen?
All we know for sure is that Shunick was last seen on Saturday, May 19 at 2:00 a.m. The now 22-year-old anthropology major at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette left Wilson’s house and headed home on her bicycle.
No one has seen or heard from her since then.
“The first thing that raised a red flag for us is when she didn’t show up to her brother’s high school graduation on Saturday,” Ashley Says, a close friend of Shunick, explained. “She had been looking forward to that for weeks, so there’s no way she would have missed that.”
Along with her devotion for her family, Shunick is an animal enthusiast. Her home is filled with pets of all sorts from a pig to tarantula. But her greatest love was for her two horses, which are stabled at a nearby barn.
“Earlier in the week one of the two horses was injured. Its nostril was sliced open. She would have wanted to check in on it this weekend,” Says told NBC33 News on Sunday while taking a break from an all day search party that was assembled to seek out clues.
For now, the animals she loves are being cared for by her family.
“Her parents are taking care of her animals and their other children,” Says explained during Monday’s continued search party. “We’re really glad they are taking time to go home because what’s going on here can be overwhelming.”
Although no concrete evidence has surfaced yet, investigators are sure they will eventually gain the key to cracking the mystery.
“We’re going to keep that hotline open so long as we continue to get information coming in,” Cpl. Mouton said about the devoted tip line that was opened on Monday. “We are going to keep someone on that line day and night to take the information. We’re not leaving any possibility out.”
The volunteers who have been searching since Saturday have now expanded their efforts to parts of Texas as well. The hope is to continue spreading the word and hope that someone has spotted Mickey Shunick alive.
“Mickey’s description is so unique,” Says added. “She has the blondest hair you’ve ever seen and she wears really exuberant clothing. She’s hard to miss.
“I hope we find her soon,” Says continued. “She’s the best friend anyone could ever have. This is just not something you think would ever happen.”
If you have any information about Mickey Shunick, please call the Lafayette Police Department at (337) 291-8633 or (337) 232-TIPS.