It was a surprising twist when Brandon Lavergne was indicted not only for the murder of Mickey Shunick but also for a second murder in 1999. She was Lisa Pate, a mother of three who went missing in June1999.
Though Pate's body was found in September 1999, in the Church Point area, until yesterday, no one seemed to know authorities were looking at Lavergne for that murder.
Lavergne was indicted Wednesday for first degree murder of Mickey Shunick and Lisa Pate. In September 1999, Pate's skeletal remains were found under three large boards in northwest Church Point. Dental records were used to identify the remains. Kenneth Goss was the Acadia Parish Sheriff then and told media, "We're going to continue the investigation, work with the Lafayette authorities and see if we can come up with some answers."
In 2000, Lavergne would go to prison for aggravated sexual battery and he would stay behind bars until his release in August 2008. Goss admits Laverge's name came up when they were investigating Pate's disappearance and murder. He's pleased to see an arrest in the case. "When you have that type of a homicide it can grow into a cold case but you still wonder, you still would like to solve the case whether it's two years or twenty years. You know, you just really never give up. Course you have to move on to your other things but you always hope that some evidence or something will show up that will help you solve the crime," said Goss.
While the Shunick family and friends always knew there could be other victims, the indictment of Lavergne for Pate's murder seems to make it even less likely Mickey will be found alive. Tom Shunick is Mickey's dad. "I'm not a hundred per cent but it sure doesn't look very good, does it. I mean this guy has murdered and buried a body before, murdered a girl and buried her body before. It certainly looks like that's his m.o. Hopefully, now if he's being charged with something else, maybe he'll come clean and tell people where the body is," said Shunick after the indictments came down.
For now, Lavergne remains behind bars facing the possibility of death himself, if convicted of first degree murder. Meanwhile the families of two women who disappeared thirteen years apart still await some measure of justice.