Brandon Scott Lavergne is scheduled to go before a grand jury July 18th. Lavergne has been charged with first-degree murder and aggravated kidnapping in connection with the disappearance of Mickey Shunick. The hearing will determine if there is enough evidence to prosecute Lavergne.

The search for Mickey continues, but legal analyst Tim Meche says authorities must believe there's enough to go forward.

It's not necessary to produce a dead body in order to secure a murder conviction in Louisiana, however, there must be sufficient corroborating evidence to demonstrate that the young lady was actually murdered.

Meche says a big pre-trial issue will be whether the trial should be held in Lafayette. Meche says Lavergne's lawyer will likely seek a change in venue should the trial go forward.

The father of Mickey Shunick, Tom, is holding out hope that Mickey is still alive as he and the family continue to deal with the possibility that Mickey may never come home to them. Tom wonders if the police have information about Brandon Lavergne that they have not made public. He still believes there may have been someone else involved in his daughter's disappearance.

I'm sure the police have a lot of information, you know, that they haven't released yet and they haven't told us anything either. So I don't know what all they have on this person. I'm hoping that somebody else is involved. But they said they didn't have plans to make another arrest. But, you know, you never know.

Tom Shunick says it's only logical that someone helped Lavergne because his burned out truck was found in Texas. He says even if that other person wasn't involved in the kidnapping, he doubts Lavergne walked back. Shunick says he hopes someone else still has Mickey or it doesn't leave them much hope of finding her alive.

I want there to be somebody else involved because if he's been offshore for a couple of weeks that means he didn't have her. And so if there's nobody else involved it's looking bleaker still.

Shunick says he's run through all the possibilities in the two months since his daughter disappeared. He says while they still hope for a miracle, the reality is beginning to set in that Lavergne did in fact kidnap and kill Mickey.

You run through all the scenarios, especially the first week or two that this thing happened and then you keep running through them again and this is a very high possibility that this is what happened. So, you know, I've had almost two months to prepare myself for it. Now we'll just see if this is the guy, did he act alone and, I mean, did he murder my daughter.

(Audio courtesy of Louisiana Radio Network)