New Evidence Details How Lafayette Police Caught Brandon Scott Lavergne
Back in May, it seemed as if the entire city of Lafayette knew that Mickey Shunick was missing. It started with her friends and family taking immediate action. Then the local media. Then the national media. Posters that photographically identified the missing UL student and her signature blonde locks were on light poles and gas station doors that I personally saw stretch as far as the Florida panhandle.
But Mickey Shunick was gone. Nowhere to be found. Vanished, seemingly without a trace.
Then on May 24, 2012 police released a handful of surveillance photos showing what they described as "vehicles of interest." Among those vehicles, was a white truck. Little did we know, that the grainy screenshot of a white Z-71 pickup truck (fairly common in the area) is what would ultimately lead police to a man named Brandon Scott Lavergne.
Earlier this week, KATC reporters Jim Hummel and Erin Stueber sifted through hundreds of new court documents that were recently released surrounding Brandon Scott Lavergne and his case that involved the murder of Mickey Shunick. We knew he was arrested. We knew he plead guilty. We know he's locked up for life.
But what KATC reporters uncovered, reveals in detail exactly HOW Lafayette Police found Lavergne, and reaffirms why this monster should never see the light of day as a free man on this earth, for as long as he lives.
You can view all the information in detail here, but these are a few things in the new court documents that jumped out at me
The two fisherman who found Mickey's damaged bicycle, almost used her bike as scrap metal, until they realized that it could be Mickey's. Even though the handgrips had been removed, police were able to locate them on the shoreline when the processed the area. Another way they confirmed it was indeed Mickey's bike was because they were unable to unlock the padlock on the bike using Mickey's combination.
Police were initially tipped off by a family member of Lavergne's fiance. This actually corroborates with postings on the Tiggerdroppings.com website where a man was asking for advice because his wife and her family just found out that her sister was engaged to a sex offender (Brandon Scott Lavergne). As the Shunick investigation moved forward, that user's posts (and other related posts) were taken down. If indeed it was that man, I applaud his courage and his decision to take action. Who knows where this case would be without his initial tip.
Before coming into contact with, and eventually killing Mickey Shunick, Brandon Scott Lavergne made approximately 24 calls to sexual escort services between May 18, 2012 and the early morning hours of May 19, 2012.
Police spoke with Brandon Scott Lavergne's sister on July 5, 2012, and she revealed that Lavergne told her that his truck was involved in a shooting and that he needed to get rid of it. She told police that she followed him around San Jacinto County until he found a spot to burn the truck. She told police that shortly after finding a spot, she first saw a large flame, then Lavergne running towards her vehicle. She said that he coached her to tell police that he was asleep inside her home the entire evening. In an eerie revelation, she also told police that she didn't have contact with Lavergne for an elongated period of time because he tried to have sex with her in 1999 when she was seven months pregnant. She agreed to go along with his plan to burn the truck after he agreed to forgive her for a $300 debt.
Lavergne told several different stories to explain his injuries. From being involved in a shooting, to a fishing accident, to being beat up by several different descriptions of attackers, it's hard to imagine that how he kept up with his own lies. One story he told described Lavergne being stabbed by friends in Lafayette, and needing to receive treatment in New Orleans so they wouldn't get in trouble.
On June 4, 2012, a worker at Don's Wholesale called police regarding Lavergne's attempt to buy a new truck. She was "freaked out" by his bandaged arm, his cut finger, and the fact that he was a registered sex offender from Church Point, LA. When police later obtained statements from workers at Don's Wholesale, one worker indicated that Lavergne flirted with her, telling her that her pants "fit well." Another worker, said Lavergne seemed to be in a rush after noticing the news had new information about the case.
On June 13, 2012 the member of Lavergne's fiance's family that originally tipped off police called back to let them know that he found it odd that Lavergne's truck now had a paper plate from Don's Wholesale. After police ran a history of insurance claims for Lavergne they found out that he was paid in full by State Farm for his truck that was reported "stolen" from his sister's house in Conroe, TX.
In one of the most disturbing quotes in the new court documents is a statement that Lavergne made according to his fiance's father upon exchanging his truck. Lavergne told him "I didn't know human blood smelt so bad." The story that his fiance's father was made to believe was that Lavergne was stabbed in New Orleans while trying to pump gas.
Lastly, one of the oddest things that stuck out in these new documents is that upon reviewing items taken from Lavergne's truck on July 11, 2012, detectives discovered a plain white envelope with Mickey Shunick's mother's cell phone number. The only prints on the envelope were that of Brandon Scott Lavergne.
As I look at this information, I say to myself: Brandon Scott Lavergne is behind bars, but Mickey Shunick is gone. Lisa Pate is gone. Who knows who else this animal has terrorized and or killed that we don't know about yet? Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft said this was "the biggest and most complicated and involved investigation in the history of the Police Department."
Hopefully, Mickey Shunick and Lisa Pate can be remembered for what they were loved most for by their friends and families. But even though most of us never even had the chance to meet her, we should all remember Shunick as a strong woman, who, in fighting for her life, gave us all the clues to take this monster off the streets for good, so that he could never do this to anyone, ever again.