EVANGELINE PARISH, La. - We're learning more tonight about the body found in Evangeline Parish Tuesday. Police say although they won't confirm it yet, they believe the body is Mickey Shunick, the 22-year-old Lafayette student who went missing on May 19.
South of Alexandria, near Vidrine in Evangeline Parish.
Investigators say they discovered the remains near a small cemetery just off Highway 10.
It's a very small plot off a dirt road, and we're told the remains were found near some of the graves there. We spoke with residents who say they've driven past that road hundreds of times and can't believe what was just found there.
One day after a gruesome discovery, this cemetery off of Highway 10 in Evangline Parish is deserted, roped off as the crime scene where police say they found a body that they believe is that of Mickey Shunick.
Louisiana cemetery archives name this small cemetery hidden back in these woods as Pinseclair Cemetery.
Although it's not easily seen from the road, the area around it is far from deserted. Neighbors who live nearby are in disbelief.
Roma Tongray: I'm just glad that they found her and the family can have closure, but it is kind of spooky that it is right in your backyard.
Brandon Bertrand: I worked here yesterday as a matter of fact, and on the news when they announced it last night, I was shocked that it was right down here.
Residents in the surrounding small towns say they don't know much about the very old private cemetery where the body was found.
Tongray: I guess he wanted a good hiding place is all I can figure.
Bertrand: It seems the guy just looked for some rural area to get rid of it.
But the clerk of court's office says they believe Pinseclair is very old, and they believe that the maintenance on it is done by the parish. Online records show it's a small plot, with just about 20 graves.
The mystery surround this cemetery goes far beyond that now though, after the Tuesday afternoon discovery. And now neighbors say they're watching and waiting, hoping both the Shunick family, and their Evangline Parish community, get answers soon.
Courtney Guillory: It's just scary to think about it.
Police say they still haven't confirmed this is Shunick's body, because they want to run tests to make sure. But they say all signs point to missing college student.
Meanwhile, former Fort Polk soldier Brandon Lavergne has been charged with first degree murder in the case. His court date will be set sometime in October.
Thursday, May 23 2013 7:46 PM EDT2013-05-23 23:46:45 GMT
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