2 sanitation workers save 10-year-old girl who was reported kidnapped

The girl was reported missing from a family member’s home on Sunday. Dion Merrick and Brandon Antoine found her after spotting the suspected kidnapper’s car.

A 10-year-old Louisiana girl who was abducted over the weekend was found safe after two sanitation workers spotted the suspected kidnapper’s vehicle.

The girl had gone missing on Sunday afternoon from a family member’s home in New Iberia, about 20 miles southeast of Lafayette.

New Iberia police issued an Amber Alert for her and an arrest warrant for her alleged abductor, who police identified as Michael Serial. Authorities said Serial was last seen driving a silver Nissan Altima.

Dion Merrick and Brandon Antoine, who work for Pelican Waste & Debris, said they had just started their route on Monday morning when they noticed a silver Nissan parked in the middle of a field in St. Martin Parish.

Louisiana sanitation workers Dion Merrick and Brandon Antoine.
Louisiana sanitation workers Dion Merrick and Brandon Antoine.Pelican Waste and Debris

Merrick said he immediately recognized the car from the Amber Alert.

“I told the guy who rides with me, that’s the car. I pulled forward and backed up to block the entrance [to the field] and then called 911,” he said in a phone interview on Wednesday.

Merrick said the driver of the vehicle opened the car door and Antoine recognized him as the suspect from the Amber Alert. They relayed the information to the 911 dispatcher. Police were at the scene in under a minute.

Merrick detailed St. Martin Parish deputies’ arrival in a Facebook Live video that has garnered two million views as of Wednesday. In it, authorities take Serial into custody as he yells, “Why are you doing this to me?”

He’s since been transferred to New Iberia and charged with aggravated kidnapping and failure to register as a sex offender, according to jail records. He is listed on the New Iberia sex offender database for a conviction on carnal knowledge of a juvenile.