Louisiana sanitation workers rescue kidnapped girl, 10: cops

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Louisiana sanitation workers rescue kidnapped girl, 10: cops

Two sanitation workers in Louisiana were praised for their quick thinking Monday after they helped police track down a 10-year-old girl who had bee

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Two sanitation workers in Louisiana were praised for their quick thinking Monday after they helped police track down a 10-year-old girl who had been kidnapped, authorities said.

Dion Merrick and Brandon Antoine were working their usual trash pickup route on Monday morning when they noticed a silver sedan in the middle of a field in St. Martin Parish, La., about 20 miles northeast of New Iberia. The car matched the description of an earlier Amber Alert.

Merrick said he called 911 and drove his garbage truck to block in the vehicle until authorities arrived.

“I just saved that little girl’s life,” Merrick said on Facebook Live. “They got him now.”

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The girl, Jalisa Lasalle, was reported missing from a family member’s residence in New Iberia between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m on Sunday afternoon, according to the New Iberia Police Department. She appeared to be unharmed, authorities said. She was being evaluated by medical personnel as of Monday morning, reports said.

Jalisa Lasalle,10, was reported missing from a family member's residence in New Iberia

Jalisa Lasalle,10, was reported missing from a family member’s residence in New Iberia
(New Iberia Police Department)

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WARNING: GRAPHIC LANGUAGE

Authorities arrested the suspect, Michael Sereal, 33, who was seen in a video being led away by police. At one point in the video, he was allegedly heard yelling, “Why are you doing this to me?”

Sereal is a registered sex offender, according to Iberia Parish records. He is facing charges of aggravated kidnapping of a child and failure to register as a sex offender, Lafayette’s KATC reported, citing jail records. 

Michael Sereal, 33, was arrested and is accused of kidnapping Jalisa Lasalle

Michael Sereal, 33, was arrested and is accused of kidnapping Jalisa Lasalle
(Louisiana State Police)

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“Great job gentleman,” a member of law enforcement was heard telling Merrick and Antoine in the video. “Thank you for your assistance.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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