A 10-year-old girl, who was the centerpiece of a Louisiana AMBER Alert, was found safe in St. Martin Parish on February 8. Sanitation worker Dion Merrick called police after he noticed a car matching the description and license plate of a vehicle listed in the AMBER Alert.
Merrick, a father of two, said he saw the sedan parked in a secluded field that was visible from the road where he was working. Merrick blocked the driveway of the area with a large garbage truck, according to his Facebook post.
On a special “Crime Stories” episode, Merrick explained to Nancy Grace how helped save the young girl and get a convicted sex offender off of the streets.
“It was a day I will never forget,” Merrick said. “I noticed a silver Nissan car parked off in the field. That morning, around 1:30, I got an AMBER Alert over my phone, showing the description of the car, the suspect and the victim.”
Merrick said something told him that the car he spotted was the same car he saw on the AMBER Alert. He called 911 and block the suspect’s car in after backing his work truck into the driveway.
When police arrived, they found the child inside the vehicle with a 33-year-old sex offender identified as Michael R. Sereal of New Iberia.
“I seen the little girl, she was just so overwhelmed…she was so in shock,” Merrick said.
A Louisiana State Police spokesman said that Sereal is an acquaintance of the victim’s family, The Daily Iberian reports. The child was taken to a local hospital for a medical evaluation.
Sereal became a registered sex offender on the Iberia Parish registry after a 2006 conviction of carnal knowledge of a juvenile.
“Thank God Mr. Merrick that you were there that day and saved this girl’s life,” Grace said. “I don’t know what kind of bonus or reward you’re going to get on this Earth, but I know for sure you’ve got your angel’s wings.”
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[Feature Photo: Dion Merrick/Facebook]