The manhunt for a Calcasieu Parish man accused in a double homicide and the kidnapping of a 14-year-old girl ended Thursday morning with his surrender in Beauregard Parish, authorities said.
Neil P. Broussard was taken into custody in Ragley without incident, after authorities said he entered an area Dollar General store and was recognized by the employees of that store.
Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso said that upon recognizing Broussard, employees Tiffany Cook and Sallye Salter quietly escorted customers out of the store and locked the door behind them to contain Broussard while simultaneously contacting law enforcement officers who were nearby.
“I commend them for being brave enough and strong enough...but we were so close we were there in seconds to apprehend him,” Mancuso stated.
Immediately following a press conference announcing Broussard’s arrest, Sheriff Mancuso and Beauregard Sheriff Mark Herford visited the store to personally extend their thanks to the women for their actions that morning.
“They both exemplified great character in a high pressure situation,” Herford stated.
Broussard has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, and second-degree kidnapping. On Thursday afternoon, Judge Sharon Wilson set bond for Broussard at $4 million.
The search for Broussard began Wednesday morning at about 4 a.m. when Calcasieu deputies were dispatched to a home at 2429 Duraso Drive in Westlake in reference to a shooting. Two deceased victims were found in the home, Kyla Hidalgo, 17, and Kaleb T. Carlton, 18.
A third shooting victim, Catherine Hidalgo, 40, was found alive and was able to identify Broussard as the shooter.
She told deputies that Broussard had kidnapped her 14-year-old daughter and stolen her car.
As of Thursday, Catherine Hidalgo remains in serious condition.
At approximately 6:42 a.m. Beauregard authorities received a call that a girl matching the description of the missing teen had been seen exiting a wooded area near a property located near Jackson-Gimnick Loop in Ragley.
Deputies arrived on scene and positively identified the kidnapping victim.
The car Broussard had allegedly stolen was located shortly after abandoned off McFatter Road.
An eyewitness also reported seeing an individual matching Broussard’s description in the vicinity, and deputies began their ground search through the area that continued throughout the night.
Sheriff Mancuso estimated that over 75 deputies from Calcasieu, Beauregard and Vernon Parishes, in addition to Louisiana State Police and members of the FBI, joined forces for the search that included K9 units, ATVs and air support.
Beauregard Parish Sheriff Mark Herford described Wednesday night as “a night full of worry and apprehension about what was going to happen.”
“To say that we were able to take Broussard into custody without incident I think speaks highly of the deputies that were involved in this,” Herford stated.
Broussard is a registered sex offender and was convicted of molestation of a juvenile in 2005 and two counts of molestation of a juvenile in 2011.
At the time the murders were committed, Sheriff Mancuso said his office had an active $2 million warrant issued for his arrest for first-degree rape and molestation of a juvenile.
Another arrest was made Wednesday evening, however Sheriff Mancuso declined to release details of that arrest on Thursday. He did allude to the fact that Broussard may have had assistance in his evasion of deputies while in the Ragley area, but refused to elaborate.
“It’s very, very important to this case that we not talk about that right now” Mancuso stated.
The weapon allegedly used by Broussard in the homicides has yet to be found, and Mancuso said deputies will remain in the Ragley area to conduct searches for it and any other evidence that may be in the area.