POSTED: Monday, May 21, 2012 - 5:44pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - 3:16pm
LAFAYETTE, LA (NBC33) — A community that banded together to finding a missing woman has sparked the attention of a national audience. Those who organized the grass-roots search party say all the attention is bringing much needed hope that their friend will soon be found.
“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. “I feel more hopeful today than I have in the past three days.”
Multiple law enforcement agencies have joined in the search for Mickey Shunick. She turned 22-years-old today, but she hasn't been seen since Saturday, May 19 at around 2:00 a.m. when she was riding her bicycle home for the night.
The Lafayette Police Department  is being assisted by the Louisiana State Police, FBI, and Lafayette Sheriff’s Office.
“We’ve deferred a lot of our resources to find this missing girl,” Cpl. Paul Mouton, Lafayette Police Department, said. “We’re using every means necessary to locate her.”
Although the media attention and support from law enforcement is more necessary, the greatest support has come from within the community itself.
“We have a ton of volunteers,” Says explained. “People are on foot, on motorcycles, bikes, cars – they’re everywhere. We’ve had church groups come out. Restaurants have come and brought hot plate lunches for our volunteers. People have dropped off water and first aid supplies; things like sun block, bug spray. Local printing businesses have been printing up flyers. Lamar, the local billboard company, has agreed to put up a sign on all their electronic billboards throughout the state.”
With so many following the story so closely, the volunteer group is organizing a candle light vigil to allow those in the community the chance to show their continued support.
“I’ve met more people in the last few days than I’ve ever met in my life,” Says explained. “At times it’s overwhelming, but it’s incredible.”
The hope for the vigil is to show resolve even though little clues have been found thus far. It will be held at Parc Sans Souci on Tuesday, May 22.
“We just want to tell people that we’re not stopping. We’re not giving up.”
Although no sign of foul play has been discovered, officials tell us the case is highly suspicious.
Click here  for more information about the vigil.