NEW IBERIA, La. — Hours after authorities announced a 10-year-old New Iberia girl was missing with an early morning Amber Alert that sounded on phones around the state, she was found by two sanitation workers, a New Iberia Police Department spokeswoman said.
Social media footage apparently shot by one of the workers shows police cruisers pull up and officers taking a man away from the scene. The car out in a field, off the road, matched the description of the car make and model from the Amber Alert.
The New Iberia Police Department's Facebook page said the girl was found safe shortly before 7 a.m., adding that working citizens called police when they saw the car tagged by the alert.
The video embedded at the bottom of the page — which features profanity — was broadcast live on Facebook by Dion Merrick, who said he was one of the two men who called the police.
"I had just seen this gray car parked in the field. That was the dude who had that little 10 year old. I just saved that little girl's life, bruh," Merrick said audibly and visibly shaken. "Thank God. They got him, now."
That's he turns the camera to a man who would eventually be detained by police.
The man being detained could be heard saying "What's going on, man? Why are you doing this to me?"
Police said sheriff deputies detained Michael R. Sereal, the man whose car the 10-year-old girl was last seen near and the man for whom police got an aggravated kidnapping arrest warrant in connection to the Amber Alert.
The Iberia Parish Sheriff's Department's online sex offender registry has a Michael Roy Sereal, but NIPD wouldn't confirm if the man they arrested was the man on the registry.
Sereal, who police described as 5 foot 9 inches and about 175 pounds, was arrested by NIPD after he was transferred from St. Martin's Parish Sheriff's Office.
Speaking to his online audience, Merrick seemed to persuade them to be more willing to get involved, to call the police.
"People that see stuff and don't want to say anything — look. The car's right there," Merrick said pivoting the camera to a police car. "The little girl's safe right now. She's safe right now. Thank God. I have a little girl."
Video shows police officers thanking the men and asking them to stick around so they could get some information.
Monday morning, police said the 10-year-old girl was found in St. Martin Parish, and medical staff worked to make sure she was okay.