Shunick family say they can begin healing process

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - The family of a university student who went missing in May say they can finally begin to grieve after police positively identified a body they found earlier this week.

Police say the body discovered in Evangeline Parish was that of Michaela "Mickey" Shunick.

Her family said Friday they can begin the healing process now and are asking for privacy from the media. They say "she deserved a long and happy life fill with love and laughter" but news that the body was Shunick's has proved otherwise. Shunick was last seen riding her bicycle away from a friend's house May 19, days before she turned 22.

Brandon Lavergne was charged with aggravated kidnapping and first-degree murder in her case and with the murder of Lisa Marie Pate in July 1999.