(CBS) LAFAYETTE, La. - Lafayette police say Brandon Scott Lavergne, now charged with first degree murder and aggravated kidnapping in the disappearance of Louisiana student Michaela "Mickey" Shunick, was arrested yesterday on an unrelated warrant connected to his sex offender status.
Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft said at a press conference Friday that authorities were led to the 33-year-old suspect after receiving a tip from a concerned citizen on June 14. The tip came after police released surveillance footage of a white pickup truck linked to Shunick's disappearance.
Craft says the Chevrolet Z71 pickup truck truck, reported stolen in Texas and later found burned, was registered to Lavergne.
Shunick was last seen shortly before 2 a.m. on May 19, days before her 22nd birthday. The University of Louisiana at Lafayette student had left a friend's house to ride her bicycle home. Her bicycle was found eight days later in a remote, swampy area under a highway bridge in Iberville Parish, about 25 miles from the spot where she was last seen.
Craft says Shunick's bicycle had damage consistent with being hit by a vehicle, but they have not gotten the lab reports back yet. Police were also able to place Lavergne near the location where the bike was found.
When asked for a possible motive, Craft said the suspect may have been looking for someone to attack.
Craft says Lavergne requested an attorney and refused to cooperate further with authorities.
The sex offender website says Lavergne was convicted in 2000 of aggravated oral sexual battery. He was released in 2008. Lavergne is currently being held without bond.
Craft said Friday that police will not rest until they find out fully what happened to Shunick and bring her home.
John Abdella, a private investigator hired by the Shunick family after their daughter disappeared, told CBS News that the whole ordeal has been "rough on the family.""She was just a sweet, sweet 22-year-old girl," said Abdella.
Additional reporting by Emily Blocher