Kidnapped 10-Year-Old Girl Found Safe Thanks to 2 Sanitation Workers on Their Pickup Route
On February 8, 2021, Dion Merrick and Brandon Antoine were in their sanitation truck doing their job went they heard an Amber alert about a little girl who was missing. The Amber alert said to look for a gray 2012 Nissan Altima.
They were doing their job as usual when Merrick looked over and saw a gray car parked in a field. He thought that seemed very strange and decided to trust his gut. The sanitation workers parked their truck so that it blocked the driveway leading to where the car was parked. That way, the car wouldn’t be able to leave. Then, they called the police.
Merrick went live on Facebook to share the story and to explain that it was in fact the car mentioned in the Amber alert and that they “just saved that little girl’s life.”
The girl was just 10-years-old, and saving her life seemed to really hit home for Merrick. He mentioned in the live video that he has kids of his own including a little girl. He said, “She’s safe right now,” and added, “Man, I thank God we got this little girl.”
In the video, we see the car parked far from the road all by itself in an area surrounded by trees. Merrick points out how dangerous this situation could have been for the little girl. He said, “I’m looking at the situation and if you look at the woods and stuff, anything could’ve went on.” He also added a call to action for anyone else who sees something that looks suspicious. “If you see something that’s not right…call 911.”
In just one day, Merrick’s video has already been viewed about 2 million times, and many people are applauding Merrick and Antoine’s quick-thinking. One comment reads, “Thank u for saving that baby girl. My daughter has been missing for 22 years. We need more people like you.”
Another viewer wrote, “This is a example of why the community and law enforcement must work together!”
Merrick mentioned in the video that he was still on the clock and just doing his job, but that saving the little girl’s life was more important than continuing with trash pickup as usual.
Merrick and Antoine work for Pelican Waste & Debris, and the company is proud of their actions. In a statement to ABC news, CEO Roddie Matherne said, “We couldn’t be prouder of Dion and Brandon.” He added, “This was an exceptional thing that may very well have saved a little girl’s [life].”
The little girl is 10-year-old Jalisa Lasalle. Medical personnel evaluated her after she was rescued.
The man who abducted her was a family friend named Michael Sereal. He is also a sex offender who failed to register as a sex offender even though he was previously convicted for carnal knowledge of a juvenile.
Have you ever seen something suspicious and called the police? When you hear an Amber alert, do you keep an eye out for the vehicle?