Amber Alert: Louisiana girl Jalisa Lasalle, 10, kidnapped by family friend who is a registered sex offender
NEW IBERIA, LOUISIANA: An Amber Alert has been issued for a 10-year-old girl from New Iberia, Louisiana. Jalisa Lasalle was last seen on Sunday, February 7, in the 400 block of Fulton Street in New Iberia. State police described the child as being a 4-foot-6-inch tall, Black female, weighing 75 pounds. Jalisa, who was wearing a red hoodie and blue jean shorts at the time of her disappearance, is said to be in imminent danger.
Troopers revealed that the 10-year-old was last seen getting into a gray 2012 Nissan Altima. They identified the driver and suspect as Michael R. Sereal, 33, of New Iberia, and said he is an acquaintance of one of the child's family members. According to KATC, Sereal was convicted in 2016 of carnal knowledge of a juvenile and is also listed on the parish's sex offender database.
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An arrest warrant for Sereal has been issued by the New Iberia Police Department, charging the suspect with aggravated kidnapping in connection with the abduction of ten-year-old Jalisa Lasalle. The department described Sereal as "a Black male 5' 9" tall, weighing 224 pounds, and was last seen driving the "2012 Nissan Altima bearing license plate N472845."
Authorities have urged anyone with information related to the whereabouts of any of Lasalle or Sereal to immediately contact the New Iberia Police Department at 337-369-2306 or call 911.
According to KATC, authorities had initially issued a Level II Endangered/ Missing Child Advisory on Sunday night, before upgrading it to an Amber Alert. State police explained that the preliminary information received was "too general" to qualify for an Amber Alert.
"The criteria to trigger an Amber Alert is very specific information about abductor and or the vehicle, such as license plate. The information given to the local police department was too general," State Police said in a statement. "The general premise behind the Amber alert system was to locate a specific vehicle with a specific license plate or specific abductor, not just an alert for every gray car. With the specific license plate, the general public could see the car and give police the exact location as opposed to reporting on every gray car seen," they added.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
Earlier, MEAWW reported how an amber alert was issued on February 6 night in California for two small children who were in the minivan that was stolen while their father was making a door dash delivery. The father, Jeffrey Fang, claimed that his two children Winnifred, 4, and Sean Fang, 1, were abducted by a stranger when he stepped away for a minute to make the delivery.
San Francisco police confirmed later that the kids had been successfully located in the city's Bayview District. The abduction reportedly took place around 8.45 pm at Jackson and Laguna streets in the Pacific Heights neighborhood. The suspect was described as a "Hispanic male, standing 5 feet 10 inches who is armed and dangerous."
An Amber Alert was issued shortly before 11 pm on February 6, covering San Francisco, San Mateo, Alameda, Marin, and Santa Clara counties. A GoFundMe was established to help the embattled father with his minivan expenses.