RAGLEY, La. (KPLC) - An all-day and all-night manhunt ended Thursday morning when a suspect in a double homicide surrendered to authorities at a Dollar General.
Lake Charles man Neil P. Broussard, 51 is accused of shooting and killing 17-year-old Kyla Hidalgo and 18-year-old Kaleb Charlton around 4 a.m. Wednesday in Westlake, according to Kayla Vincent, Calcasieu Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman.
Broussard was booked into Calcasieu Correctional Center Thursday on two counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted first-degree murder and one count of second-degree kidnapping. Judge Sharon Wilson set bond at $4 million.
Kyla’s mother, Catherine Hidalgo, 40, was shot but survived. Authorities say Broussard stole Catherine’s car and kidnapped her 14-year-old daughter.
The 14-year-old girl was found around 6:45 a.m. Wednesday on Jackson-Gimnick Loop in Ragley and the car was found in a wooded area on McFatter Road - also in the Ragley area.
But the manhunt continued in the Ragley area all day and all night until Broussard turned himself around 8:30 a.m. Thursday morning.
When Broussard walked into the Dollar General to turn himself in, the employees realized who he was, escorted shoppers out, and locked the doors until law enforcement arrived.
Broussard was taken into custody without incident.
“I commend them for being brave enough and strong enough, but we were so close we got there within seconds and were able to apprehend him without any incidents,” Calcasieu Sheriff Tony Mancuso said.
Another person has also been arrested, but Mancuso said authorities are not yet releasing information on that arrest. Other arrests are possible.
A phone believed to belong to Broussard or one of his associates pinged in the Ragley area Sunday, Mancuso said. The sheriff said authorities are working to see whether that ping is connected to the case.
Detectives were concerned that Broussard may have scouted the Ragley area and planted a car there.
While Broussard was on the loose, authorities asked residents to lock their doors and sent deputies to canvas the area.
“Last night was a night full of worry and apprehension about what was going to happen,” Beauregard Sheriff Mark Herford said. “To say that we were able to take him into custody without incident, I think speaks highly of the deputies that were involved in this. The immense pressure that was put on this person all day yesterday and all day I believe is the reason that he was willing to surrender himself.”
Calcasieu Sheriff Tony Mancuso shared Herford’s sentiments that it was a nerve-wracking night.
“I can tell this community here in Ragley, that your sheriff and myself were very concerned last night,” Mancuso said. “We had probably 50 to 75 deputies out here during the day yesterday searching along with the planes and all the agencies, but last night we had deputies here around the clock. We were worried about your safety and that’s why we had deputies just about on every corner and every sector of this region so that if you called 911 we were going to be there quickly.”
Authorities had planes and helicopters in the air to help search for Broussard.
“Even with all this technology and tools, he was in a thick, wooded area and it was just very difficult,” Mancuso said. “I think we just applied pressure on him and kept applying pressure on him and I think this morning he just got wore out and tired and went into that store.”
Authorities were continuing to search for the murder weapon Thursday.
Broussard is a convicted sex offender who was awaiting trial on sex charges in Texas and had an active warrant for first-degree rape and molestation of a juvenile in Calcasieu. Mancuso said deputies had begun looking for him on Friday in relation to the warrant.