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Human remains confirmed to be missing Louisiana college student

Lafayette Police Department via AP

Police confirmed they have found the remains of Mickey Shunick after the college student had been missing since May.

Police in Louisiana confirmed Thursday that human remains found earlier this week are those of missing college student Mickey Shunick, NBC station NBC33 in Baton Rouge reported.

Shunick's decomposed remains were found buried in a graveyard in Evangeline Parish in central Louisiana on Tuesday after Lafayette police received a tip from a credible witness about the location.

Because of the level of decomposition, the Lafayette Parish Coroner required the help forensic experts from Louisiana State University, according to a press release


Shunick's family released a statement thanking supporters and requesting privacy.

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette student was last seen in the early morning hours of May 19 -- days before her 22nd birthday -- riding a bicycle on her way to her parents' home after leaving a friend's house. 

Her family reported the anthropology student missing after she failed to show for her younger brother's high school graduation the next day. 

A few days later, Shunick's bike was found submerged in a local bay about 25 miles from where she was last seen. 

Police arrest sex offender in connection with missing college student  

Brandon Scott Lavergne, 33, a registered sex offender, has been charged with Shunick's murder and disappearance. He is also facing a murder charge for the 1999 murder of another woman.

He has pleaded not guilty to all counts and is being held without bond. 

Lavergne's conviction stemmed from the sexual assault of an 18-year-old girl while he was stationed in nearby Fort Polk and serving in the Army. He served eight years of a 10-year sentence, and was released from prison in August 2008.

He has been classified as a Tier 3-level sex offender, the highest level there is.

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Police are not releasing the name of the witness who led them to Shunick's remains.

The burial ground is about 35 miles from Lavergne's home in Swords, La.

The Associated Press reported Lavergne was taken from the  Lafayette Parish Correctional Center on Tuesday and taken across the street to the sheriff's office and checked back in the correctional center a few hours later. 

If convicted he could face life in prison or the death penalty.

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