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Mickey Shunick's Body Positively Identified by Louisiana Police

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Mickey Shunick's Body Positively Identified by Louisiana Police

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Mickey Shunick's Body Positively Identified by Louisiana Police (ABC News)

The remains of missing Louisiana student Mickey Shunick have been positively identified by police.

The Lafayette Coroner's Office sent Shunick's medical and dental records to the Louisiana State University Faces Lab, where the identification was made. Her remains were sent there because her body was in the "advanced stages of decomposition," according to Keith Talamo of the coroner's office.

The body was excavated from a remote wooded area, along with some clothing and jewelry, earlier this week. Police said at the time that they "strongly believed" the remains belonged to Shunick, but were waiting for the coroner to confirm the identity.

The Lafayette Police Department announced the positive identification in a short, two-line news release.

"Investigators have identified the body discovered in Evangeline Parish as that of Michaela 'Mickey' Shunick," the release said. "There will be no further comment on the Shunick investigation at this time."

Shunick's family has asked for privacy from the media, but told ABC News' Lafayette affiliate WBRZ that they can now begin the healing process.

The family said Shunick "deserved a long and happy life filled with love and laughter," according to WBRZ.

The body was found in a remote wooded area near a cemetery, about 45 miles from where Shunick disappeared.

"There were some things such as clothing and jewelry that were removed from the site," Cpl. Paul Mouton of the Lafayette Police Department told ABCNews.com.

Shunick, 22, was a senior at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette when she vanished on May 19. She was last seen about 2 a.m. riding her bike from the home of her friend Brettly Wilson.

Brandon Scott Lavergne, a registered sex offender, was arrested and charged with Shunick's murder and aggravated kidnapping last month.

Mouton said authorities were directed to the body on a tip, but did not specify where the very detailed tip came from.

Mouton said police followed a private road past a small cemetery of about 30 headstones and into a wooded area to the spot where the body was buried.

The first clue to solving Shunick's disappearance came when her bike was found beneath a bridge at Whiskey Bay on the Atchafalaya River. The location of the bike was more than 25 miles from where she was last seen.

Soon after Shunick's disappearance, police released a surveillance video showing her on a bicycle the night she disappeared as well as of a white pickup truck.

Lafayette Chief of Police Jim Craft said the video led detectives to identify the truck as belonging to Lavergne, and to place Lavergne in the area on May 19.

Police said the rear rim of her bicycle was consistent with being struck by a vehicle from behind.

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