LAFAYETTE, LA (WAFB) - Lafayette Police will hold a news conference Tuesday afternoon to release new details into their investigation of a missing woman.
Michaela "Mickey" Shunick, 21, a student at the University of Louisiana was last seen around 1:45 a.m. on May 19 when she left a friend's house to go home.
On Sunday, police found the missing woman's bicycle near the Whiskey Bay exit of Interstate 10, about 25 miles from the spot where she was last seen eight days earlier.
Police released new details Tuesday about an analysis by the Louisiana State Police crime lab into the bicycle that was found.
Lafayette police announced Tuesday there was damage to the rear of the bike but they did not elaborate about how the bike might have been damaged. Police said they believe the bike was dumped in that area the same morning that Shunick disappeared. They do not believe the bike was thrown from the overpass into the water below. Instead, they believe whomever dumped the bike brought it to the swampy area and tossed the bike in the water.
Police said they are currently following up on "thousands" of leads and encouraged members of the public to be as specific as possible when calling in tips regarding the case.
Lafayette police said several law enforcement agencies have reached out to them regarding similar cases but, so far, they do not believe any of those cases are connected to this case.
Multiple law enforcement agencies including the FBI are investigating the case.
Search dogs were deployed to work under the bridge and sheriff's deputies rode all-terrain vehicles in the woods Sunday as a Louisiana State Police helicopter flew low over the area in search of clues.
A surveillance camera in the area where she was last seen showed a late-model, white, four-door pickup truck in the area at the time of her disappearance.
Mickey was last seen wearing a pastel multicolored striped shirt, light wash skinny jeans and gray shoes. She had a brown, leather, backpack purse with her.
Texas EquuSearch was requested to assist in the search for Shunick. According to the Texas EquuSearch website, the search started at 10 a.m. Thursday. The Command Center is located at Our Lady of Wisdom Catholic Church, 501 E. Saint Mary Blvd., Lafayette, LA 70503.
If you would like to help search, they are requesting that you please bring your own water and snacks, along with a photo identification. Searchers must be at least eighteen (18) years of age.
Anyone with information on Mickey's whereabouts is urged to call the Lafayette Police Department at 337-291-8600.