Mickey Shunick Missing in Lafayette
by Erin Z. Bass
Many of you have probably heard about missing college student Mickey Shunick, who disappeared in Lafayette while riding her bike home early Saturday morning. I returned from Georgia on Tuesday to fliers posted around downtown and the surrounding neighborhoods, one on the pole right outside our office. The house Mickey left from is only about five blocks from our office, so this case is hitting especially close to home.
For those who are interested, I thought I’d offer what little information I do know as well as some resources to find out more. It’s been confirmed that Mickey was at local bar and music venue Artmosphere on Friday night. The bar is located on Johnston Street, right off downtown’s main street, and is a hangout for college students and locals who enjoy live music. She left there with a friend and went over to his house at 100 Ryan Street, a few blocks away. It’s been said that this house is in the Saint Streets neighborhood, but it’s not. It’s actually located in downtown, right off Congress Street, the route she’s said to have taken home.
Mickey’s friends say she rode her bike around town all the time and rode it from her house to the bar that night. Yes, it’s dangerous to be riding a bike on a major road like Congress Street after dark, but we’ve all been 21 years old once. You think you’re invincible, and for those who aren’t familiar with Lafayette, it’s an extremely safe place to live and Mickey was not hanging out in a bad neighborhood. Lafayette is also a city that is trying to become more bike friendly thanks to groups like Bike Lafayette. It’s unfortunate that this happened right after the city held its first Bike to Work day, but bike riding is not to blame. Yes, Mickey would have been safer in a car, but drunk driving is just as dangerous.
If I take away anything from this, it’s bike safety. Mickey’s bike had lights and she’s said to have been carrying mace, but she should not have been riding home alone for a distance of almost 4 miles. Biking is great for exercise, saves money on gas and can be safer than driving in some instances, but it has its place.
Fliers for Mickey are now posted across town, search parties have combed the surrounding area and a benefit concert is planned for this weekend. The story has also gotten national news coverage in The Huffington Post, on CNN and HLN network. The Nancy Grace show contacted our local paper today, so the case will be mentioned there tonight at 7 p.m. CST, and Mickey’s picture is featured on the show’s website now. Texas Equusearch, which many of you may remember from the Caylee Anthony case, also got involved today and is searching for Mickey today and tomorrow.
Here are a few more resources if you want to learn more about this case and find out what you can do to help find Mickey:
Twitter hashtag: #findmickey
Donate to the Mickey Shunick Fund
HLN video interview with Mickey’s mother
HLN video interview with the last person to see Mickey
Article from The Daily Advertiser on reaction from local cyclists & why it’s hard to determine exactly what route Mickey took
anon / May 25, 2012
Just to set the record straight – probably irrelevant but i did read that she had not been drinking that night. She wasn’t feeling well and opted out. So she was fully aware. Lafayette has always been a light in all the darkness and I still believe it is the most amazing place to live – I just hope they find her and she is ok…
erinzbass / Author / May 25, 2012
You’re correct. Her friend Brettley, who was with her that night, said she was not drinking but was tired and possibly hungover from the night before. She also had her mace out when she left his house.
Debra / May 28, 2012
It is probably best to not be riding a bike alone at 2 am. However, it is more wrong to take what does not belong to you. It is sad that the world is unsafe for women and children because of people who think they have to right to take what does not belong to them.
I think it is safe to say that there are men in this world who think that being a man is stealing the life of women and children and that pushing their way and exploiting them is the definition of success.
I pray for the freedom of all who are at the hands of evil men. Whose lives are being destroyed so the selfish desires of these people can be met.