CRIME

Brandon Scott Lavergne Arrested On Murder Charge In Mickey Shunick's Disappearance

07/06/2012 09:46 am ET | Updated Jul 07, 2012

Police arrested and charged a registered sex offender with murder on Thursday in connection to the disappearance of Louisiana college student Mickey Shunick.

Brandon Scott Lavergne, 33, was collared during a traffic stop near the intersection of I-10 and I-49 in Louisiana, according to a press release sent to The Huffington Post. Authorities charged the suspect with first-degree murder and aggravated kidnapping. Detectives were able to identify a truck that traveled behind Shunick on the night of her disappearance as belonging to Lavergne, the release said.

Police made the arrest as St. Landry Parish sheriff's deputies searched Lavergne's home for evidence.

MICKEY SHUNICK CASE PHOTOS (story continues below):

Mickey Shunick

It took 47 days for investigators to announce a lead in the 22-year-old University of Louisiana student's disappearance.

"We are relieved that the police have made an arrest," Shunick's sister, Charlie, wrote in a text message to The Daily Advertiser. "The circumstances are pretty distressing. If she is gone, it is a void in the fabric of the world and a devastating blow to our family."

Lavergne was convicted in 2000 of aggravated oral sexual battery, according to the Louisiana State Police website. He was released from prison in 2008.

Shunick, a senior at the university, left her friend's house on her bike before 2 a.m. on May 19. About a week later, surveillance footage surfaced showing her riding her bike the night she went missing.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misidentified where police arrested Brandon Lavergne.

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