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Sex offender arrested in connection with Shunick disappearance

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LAFAYETTE- A 33-year-old sex offender has been arrested and charged with murder and kidnapping in connection with the disappearance of college student Mickey Shunick.

Brandon Lavergne was arrested Thursday and his home in St. Landry Parish was searched later in the afternoon.

Authorities spent hours there, but have not released what they were looking for, or what was taken.

Shunick vanished while riding her bike near downtown Lafayette in May. Her bike was found, damaged, in Whiskey Bay under the I-10 Basin Bridge.

Lavergne is a registered sex offender and was convicted in 2000 of aggravated oral sexual battery.

According to a website, he drives a white 2011 Chevrolet Silverado. Investigators have been looking for a person of interest seen on video surveillance driving a white Chevy Z-71.

"We just felt something today," said Margaret Bearb, volunteer coordinator.

Police in Lafayette say they will not release any other details until a news conference tomorrow at 1p.m.

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