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Two sanitation workers bravely react when they see a suspicious vehicle in a field. Inside, they find a 10-year-old kidnapping victim.



Image source: Facebook video screenshot

Two Louisiana sanitation workers are being hailed as heroes after discovering a 10-year-old girl who had gone missing from her family home earlier this week, according to ABC News.

What are the details?

Pelican Waste & Debris employees Brandon Antoine and Dion Merrick were traveling their route on Monday morning when they noticed an odd sight: a silver sedan sitting in the middle of a field.

Believing the vehicle to be included in an Amber Alert, the two stopped, blocked the vehicle from leaving the field with their large sanitation truck, and called authorities.

In a Facebook video, Merrick said, "Something told me ... I said, 'What's that car doing off in the field like that?' ... I blocked the truck in, [making] sure he couldn't get out."

Inside, authorities discovered 10-year-old Jalisa Lasalle, who had gone missing from her family's New Iberia home on Sunday afternoon. The outlet reported that the Amber Alert said authorities believed Jalisa was in "imminent danger" and was believed to be traveling in a gray 2012 Nissan Altima. Authorities also discovered the suspect, 33-year-old Michael Sereal, at the scene, where they arrested him.

In the video, Sereal can be heard yelling, "Why are you doing this to me?"

Authorities charged Sereal, a purported family friend, with aggravated kidnapping of a child and failure to register as a sex offender.

He is being held at the Iberia Parish Jail without bond.

Merrick, who teared up over the dramatic rescue, added, "She's safe right now."

In a statement to ABC News, Pelican Waste & Debris CEO Roddie Matherne said that his employees are nothing short of heroes.

"We couldn't be prouder of Dion and Brandon," Matherne said via email. "In fact, all of our Pelican Waste team have been heroically working without fail during the pandemic quietly, professionally, and consistently serving the communities where we collect garbage & debris. They often respond in other ways while on the road. This was an exceptional thing that may very well have saved a little girl's [life]."

The investigation is ongoing, police said.

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