LAFAYETTE, La. -- Lafayette Police confirmed Tuesday afternoon that Mickey Shunick's bike, which was found under Interstate 10 Saturday at the Whiskey Bay exit, had damage to the rear tire, fueling speculation that Shunick may have been hit from behind.

Speaking at a press briefing, though, Cpl. Paul Mouton was quick to point out that such assumptions are premature.

"The one thing that we don't want to jump to conclusions and the thing that we didn't want to release the damage to the bike initially," Mouton said, "is because the first initial assumption would be that it was struck by a vehicle."

"We do not know that for a hundred percent that that's where that damage came from," Mouton said.

Mouton said the wheel, which had a bent rim with the tire "dislodged from the rim itself," was the only visible damage to the bike. It has been turned over to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab to be looked over by forensics experts, Mouton said.

"They're going to do the quickest turnaround as possible," Mouton said, but he took care to mention he hopes they take their time to look over the bike carefully. Mouton also said other items were sent to the lab, but he wouldn't comment on just what exactly those items were.

It's not believed the bike was tossed over the side of the interstate, Mouton said, but that it may have been placed at the Whiskey Bay exit the morning Shunick disappeared.

"Our belief currently is that the bike was dumped beneath the bridge and was not thrown from the bridge," Mouton said. A pair of fishermen found the bike submerged beneath the water, Mouton said.

The drivers of the three vehicles of interest which were captured on surveillance cameras in the area where Shunick was last seen have still not been found, Mouton said. The car spotted by one surveillance camera is believed to be an older model "80's or 90's GM type vehicle four-door" with bondo on the rear right quarter panel.

"It's very obvious," Mouton said. "That vehicle should be able to be spotted by the public."

One of the two trucks is believed to be a white Chevrolet Z-71 four-door pickup truck. The other is believed to be a GMC or Chevrolet with a bed cover.

Mouton also confirmed that detectives from Indiana have talked with those here in Lafayette in relation to a missing persons case there. A University of Indiana student went missing more than a year ago after a night out with friends in downtown Bloomington, Ind. She and Shunick are nearly the same age, are of the same build, and have the same hair color. Investigators have examined that case, Mouton said, and police don't believe the two are related.


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