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Louisiana police: Missing student not tied to any other case

The disappearance of a Louisiana college student Michaela "Mickey" Shunick is not related to a similar case in Indiana or any others, Lafayette police said Tuesday at a news conference where they unveiled new evidence.

Shunick disappeared May 19. Her bicycle was found Sunday under water and with a damaged rear tire in Atchafalaya Basin, Cpl. Paul Mouton revealed.


State crime lab investigators are going over the bicycle for evidence but police believe a perpetrator who took Shunick climbed down an Interstate 10 bridge embankment and dumped it in the basin, Mouton said.

Lafayette Police Department via AP

Michaela Shunick, who goes by "Mickey," disappeared May 19 from the University of Louisiana.

Officials could not be sure if the bicycle was damaged before or after Shunick was grabbed, Mouton said.

“We don’t want to jump to conclusions,” Mouton said.

Lafayette police have talked to officials in Bloomington, Ind., where the nearly year-old case of missing Indiana University student Lauren Spierer, 20, remains unsolved, Mouton said.

Both cases involve petite, blonde students, and white pickups with crew cabs were spotted near the last places each student was last seen alive.

“We don’t feel those two cases are connected,” Mouton said. Nor is the Louisiana case connected to any other, he said.

In the Louisiana case, three vehicles were caught on videos near places Shunick had been.

Besides the white pickup, an '80s General Motors sedan with Bondo on the rear right quarter panel and a pickup with a covered bed were also seen.

Shunick left a friend's house alone about 2 in the morning.

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Spierer, from Greenburgh, N.Y., left her friend's townhome alone about 4:30 a.m. on June 3, 2011. Bloomington police said the white pickup was determined to be the owner picking up an employee.

Bloggers point to 12 cases of petite white females missing around the country, including nursing student Holly Bobo, snatched from her Darden, Tenn., home on April 13, 2011, NBC station WTHR of Indianapolis reported.

Bloomington Herald-Times, Jeremy Hogan / AP

A poster shows for Lauren Spierer, an Indiana University student missing since June 3, 2011.

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