On Monday morning at 1:30 a.m., an AMBER Alert was issued in southern Louisiana for a missing 10-year-old girl from New Iberia. She was believed to have been kidn apped and driven away in a silver Nissan Altima from 2012.

Dion Merrick and Brandon Antoine, Pelican Waste sanitation workers, were on their daily route at 7 a.m. when they noticed a vehicle that matched the description in the alert.

The sanitation workers were suspicious when they noticed a silver sedan parked alone in a field in St. Martin Parish.

“Something told me, like just look, I said what is that car doing in that field like that? What the car doing? Guess what, that’s the dude with the little girl,” Merrick said in a Facebook Live video. “That’s God.”

Since it was posted on Monday morning, the video has been viewed over 1.5 million times.

To keep the potential kidnapper from fleeing, they parked the large sanitation truck on the wrong side of the highway to “make sure they couldn’t get out,” according to Merrick. They then dialed 911.

When police arrived, Michael R. Sereal, the man whose car was mentioned in the AMBER Alert, was arrested. The girl, who appeared to be unharmed, was also safely recovered by the police. She was later taken to the hospital for medical evaluation.

The Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Department’s online sex offender registry lists a Michael Roy Sereal, but authorities won’t confirm whether or not he is the same man.

The young girl’s family contacted the two men who saved her and expressed their heartfelt gratitude. “I’m just so happy and blessed that I saw the car and we actually responded the way we were supposed to,” Merrick told KHOU.

Merrick hopes that his actions will inspire others to take similar action. “Don’t be scared if you see something. If you know something is wrong, report it,” Merrick said. “Call authorities because it could save someone’s life.”

via Louisiana Attorney General’s Office

The Sheriff of St. John Parish applauded the two men and offered to buy them lunch.

“I was just doing my job man. I was just doing my job and actually came across somebody who needed help,” Merrick said. “Got me tearing up.”

Amber Hagerman, a nine-year-old girl, was abducted and murdered while riding her bike in Texas in 1996, prompting the creation of the AMBER Alert system. Since its inception, nearly seven out of every ten AMBER alert cases have resulted in the successful reunion of children with their parents.

In 17% of cases, the child’s recovery is directly related to the alert.

As of December 2020, 1,029 children had been rescued solely because of the system.

By baba

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