Dollar General workers lock in man wanted in killing

LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) — Workers at a Dollar General store recognized a convicted sex offender accused of killing two teenagers and kidnapping a third — and locked him in after quietly escorting other customers out.

“Thank you Sallye Salter and Tiffany Cook, you both exemplified great character in a high pressure situation,” the Beauregard Parish Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post after Neil Broussard was arrested Thursday.

Broussard, 51, of Lake Charles, surrendered to police in the Beauregard Parish community of Ragley, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) north of Lake Charles, after Salter and Cook alerted authorities, the American Press reported.

He was convicted in 2005 and 2011 of molesting juveniles, is awaiting trial on sex charges in Texas, and is wanted on charges of first-degree rape and molestation of a juvenile in Calcasieu Parish, authorities said.

A Calcasieu Parish judge set his bond at $4 million, news agencies reported.

Broussard, a registered sex offender, is accused of killing Kyla Hidalgo, 17, and Kaleb Charlton, 18; wounding the girl’s mother, Catherine Hidalgo, 40; and kidnapping the woman’s 14-year-old daughter early Wednesday morning in the Calcasieu Parish town of Westlake.

The 14-year-old was found shortly before 7 a.m. Wednesday in Ragley and her mother’s stolen car was found the same day in woods in the Ragley area, KPLC-TV reported.

Scores of officers from three sheriff’s offices, state police and the FBI swept the area, hunting for Broussard, Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso said during a news conference Thursday with Beauregard Parish Sheriff Mark Herford.

Mancuso commended Salter’s and Cook’s bravery, adding, “we were so close we got there within seconds and were able to apprehend him without any incidents.”

Mancuso said a second person was arrested but did not give details.

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