The bicycle belonging to missing college student Michaela “Mickey” Shunick was found Sunday by a fisherman near Whiskey Bay, police spokesman Cpl. Paul Mouton said.
The fisherman found the black Schwinn bike beneath Interstate 10 at Whiskey Bay exit No. 127 and called the Lafayette Police tip line sometime Sunday morning, Mouton said.
Police were searching and investigating the area Sunday afternoon.
“Once we were able to get confirmation (that it was Shunick’s bicycle), we started processing the area,” Mouton said.
Mouton would not comment on the condition of the bike when police or the fisherman discovered it.
Shunick’s family did not want to talk Sunday about the development, said Josh Coen, a volunteer in the search for Shunick.
“We need to stay positive, and I think this is a really good opportunity to keep moving and get closer to getting her back,” Coen said.
Shunick, 22, an avid cyclist and University of Louisiana at Lafayette student, was last seen shortly before 2 a.m. May 19 leaving a friend’s house at 100 Ryan St., on the black Schwinn bicycle, authorities have said.
On Friday, police said a bicyclist seen in a video surveillance tape was believed to be Shunick. She was seen on the tape riding on Versailles Boulevard toward St. John Street, Mouton has said.
The bicyclist pedaled onto St. John Street, crossed over University Avenue and continued west on St. Landry Street where she was recorded by the surveillance camera around 1:48 a.m., Mouton said.
The footage is from a nearby business and was filmed May 19 between 1:30 a.m. and 3:30 a.m.
Police said Saturday they were looking for more information on a second pickup truck and a four-door car shown in the surveillance footage.
Police had earlier asked the public for help in identifying a white, four-door pickup truck pictured in the footage.
The second truck is a white, four-door Chevrolet Z-71 truck that was seen on the video tape traveling in the same direction on St. Landry Street as Shunick, Mouton said.
The third vehicle is a 1980s or 1990s four-door car with body work on the rear right quarter panel, Mouton said. Police believe that car turned onto St. Landry Street and headed in the same direction as Shunick, Mouton said.
Police also said that the first pickup truck, which was in the same area that Shunick had been riding her bicycle, has a cargo bed cover and tinted windows, Mouton said.
Detectives would like to locate the vehicles and speak with the occupants for more information, Mouton said.
Mouton has said search teams have covered a “good portion of the city” since search efforts began May 19, including waterways, coulees, abandoned buildings and the main routes Shunick normally traveled on her way to her parents’ house on Governor Miro Street.
Tim Miller, founder and director of Texas EquuSearch, a nonprofit mounted recovery and rescue team, has said his group has brought in an airplane and planned to send up a helicopter.
Investigators know Mickey Shunick arrived at Artmosphere, a bar and restaurant on Johnston Street, at 10:13 p.m. Friday and left at 12:44 a.m., Mouton has said.
At 1:24 a.m., Shunick and her friend, Brettly Wilson, then traveled to the Taco Bell, on the corner of Johnston and St. Mary Boulevard, Mouton has said.
At 1:31 a.m., Shunick received a phone call from a friend, and there have been no phone calls from her phone since that time, Mouton has said. Investigators have contacted and questioned the person who last called her as well as Wilson.
The public is asked to visit the website http://www.findmickey
now.com or the Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/find
mickeynow, for up-to-date information on donation needs and search efforts.
Shunick has blonde hair and blue eyes, is 5 feet 1 inch tall and weighs 115 pounds. She was last seen wearing a pastel, multi-colored shirt, light-wash skinny jeans and gray shoes and had a brown leather backpack purse.
Anyone with information about the case or the vehicles is asked to call the Lafayette Police Department’s tips line at (337) 291-8633 or Crime Stoppers at (337) 232-TIPS.