Michael R. Sereal Amber Alert

Michael R. Sereal, 33, is accused of abducting a 10-year-old girl in New Iberia. Authorities say he could be in a gray sedan. (image via Louisiana State Police)

A sanitation worker who acted quickly led police to a missing 10-year-old girl from New Iberia, authorities said Monday morning.

The girl was found safe in St. Martin Parish on Monday morning, according to the New Iberia Police Department, and 33-year-old Michael R. Sereal of New Iberia has been taken into custody related to her disappearance.

Sereal is a registered sex offender, according to a listing on Iberia Parish's registry. He was convicted in 2006 of carnal knowledge of a juvenile.

Authorities issued an Amber Alert for her Sunday night, saying they believed she was in imminent danger after she was seen getting into a sedan with Sereal. 

The alert was issued statewide at 11:25 p.m. Sunday by Louisiana State Police. 

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Dion Merrick, a sanitation worker, shared a Facebook video Monday morning from the scene in St. Martin Parish. He says he noticed the gray sedan parked in a field and recognized it from the Amber Alert. 

Law enforcement officials can be seen in the video, surrounding the car and taking a man into  custody.

"People act like they see stuff but they don't want to say nothing. But she's safe now. Thank God man, because I got a little girl. I'm on my job doing what I got to do," Merrick said.

The girl is being evaluated by medical personnel, authorities said.

Sereal  is being held without bond in the Iberia Parish jail on a charge of aggravated kidnapping of a child and failure to register as a sex offender,

The investigation is ongoing, authorities said. Anyone with information is asked to call the New Iberia Police Department at 337-369-2306 or 911.

Staff writers Julia Guilbeau and Carlie Kollath Wells contributed to this story.


Email Kristin Askelson at kaskelson@theadvocate.com.