LAFAYETTE — A public celebration to honor murder victim Michaela “Mickey” Shunick is scheduled Sept. 29 at Parc International, followed by related events for the former University of Louisiana at Lafayette student.
Family and friends will recognize law enforcement officers, volunteers, donors, university officials, the 15th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, Texas Equusearch and the community as a whole for “this incredible effort and outpouring of love” to the Shunick family during “The Community Celebration to Honor Mickey Shunick,” a news release says.
The Shunick family also will give a personal statement to the community at the event, which is scheduled for noon.
Afterward, three of Shunick’s favorite local bands will perform, beginning with a 1:30 performance by Whole Damn Town. ImagineIAM will perform at 2:30 p.m., and Rareluth will perform at 3:45 p.m.
The event will culminate in a 5 p.m. public bike ride following the route Shunick took on the morning of May 19, when she was abducted by Brandon Scott Lavergne while riding her bicycle from a friend’s home from Ryan Street downtown to her parent’s home on Governor Miro Street about five miles away.
Shunick was an avid cyclist and animal lover. The ride will conclude with the permanent placement of a ghost bikeat the end of St. Landry Street as a tribute to Shunick.
The Shunick family requests that the public continue on to ULL for the football game, where she will be honored. The game, featuring the Ragin Cajuns versus Florida International, will be dedicated to her strength and bravery.
Beer and food will be available for purchase, and T-shirts with a new, celebratory graphic will be sold for the cost of printing. To volunteer on the day of the celebration, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lavergne, 33, of St. Landry Parish, pleaded guilty Aug. 17 to two counts of first-degree murder in the slayings of both Shunick, 22, and Lisa Pate, 35.
He led authorities to Shunick’s body, which was found Aug. 7 buried near some grave sites in a small cemetery off La. 10 in Evangeline Parish near Mamou.
Lavergne, a registered sex offender, was arrested July 5 on counts of first-degree murder and aggravated kidnapping after police investigated a tip that connected him to a white truck seen on surveillance video the day Shunick disappeared.
On July 18, a Lafayette Parish grand jury, in a surprise move, charged Lavergne with first-degree murder in not only Shunick’s killing but also in the slaying of Pate. Both women were Lafayette residents.
Pate’s remains were discovered on Sept. 21, 1999, in rural Acadia Parish. She had been missing for several months. Lavergne had been a suspect in Pate’s killing since as early as 2000.
Lavergne reached a plea agreement where he will be sentenced to life in prison.