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Missing 10-year-old found safe after overnight Amber Alert; suspect in custody

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NEW IBERIA - Sanitation workers found a missing 10-year-old girl in New Iberia Monday morning just hours after an Amber Alert was issued in the area.

Authorities issued a Level II Endangered/Missing Child Advisory for Jalisa Lassalle of New Iberia on Sunday night.

The 10-year-old was last seen getting into a gray, four-door car with a 33-year-old registered sex offender, Michael Sereal.

Sanitation worker Dion Merrick was on the job Monday morning when he saw the car in question sitting in an empty field. Both Sereal and Lasalle were later found inside.

Merrick took to social media to share the news with his followers.

"I just saved that little girl's life," Merrick said in a video shared on social media.

Merrick blocked the suspect in with the garbage truck to ensure Sereal could not get away before authorities arrived.

The suspect was arrested for aggravated kidnapping and transferred to the custody of the New Iberia Police Department after being taken into custody by St. Martin Parish Deputies.

As of Tuesday morning, no bond has been set for Sereal.

The 10-year-old was found safe, though her conditions are unknown at this time.

This is an ongoing investigation.

JALISA FOUND SAFE!!! On February 8, 2021, right before 7:00 AM, citizens that were employed by a company observed the...

Posted by New Iberia Police Department on Monday, February 8, 2021

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