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Manhunt ends

24-year-old nabbed at Prairieville home

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Posted: Thursday, August 27, 2009 12:00 am

After smelling the fugitive’s underpants, the bloodhounds tracing the scent of Pedro Juan Hidalgo came to the same conclusion they reached hours before: the man on the run from Iberia Parish sheriff’s deputies was nowhere to be found.

But by mid-afternoon Wednesday, the U.S. Marshals Service picked up the trail and found Hidalgo 90 miles away at his home in Prairieville. After a 12-hour manhunt, Hidalgo, 24, was arrested without incident and charged with having sex with a 14-year-old New Iberia girl.

The chase began with an anonymous phone call. Sheriff Louis Ackal said authorities received a tip that Hidalgo had come to town for the midnight rendezvous.

Deputies investigating the 2800 block of Old Spanish Trail reportedly caught the two having consensual sex in Hidalgo’s vehicle. The encounter Wednesday marked their first in-person encounter, said Capt. Wendell Raborn. The two reportedly maintained contact over the past month via text and Internet messaging.

Hidalgo and the girl reportedly ran away as the deputies approached. Deputies caught up with the girl, but a shirtless Hidalgo reportedly outran the authorities. The Sheriff’s Office soon determined Hidalgo’s identity through his license plate number.

Though the fugitive was long gone, Sheriff’s Office bloodhounds were brought to the scene to follow Hidalgo’s scent. Around 11 a.m. Ackal received word deputies recovered a pair of Hidalgo’s “drawers” left in his vehicle, which were promptly given to the hounds to reinforce the scent.

Deputies set up a small staging area in front of Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church on Old Jeanerette Road. A helicopter hovered nearby, scanning the sugar cane fields across from the church. Deputies roamed the area armed with assault rifles.

The search was called off before 4 p.m. after authorities arrested Hidalgo at his home in Prairieville. Hidalgo reportedly called his wife to pick him up in New Iberia Wednesday morning.

Hidalgo was charged with felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile and resisting arrest by flight. Felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile applies to offenders 17 years or older who have sex with someone older than 13 but less than 17 where the difference in age is more than four years.

His wife, Heather Hidalgo, was arrested on a Florida warrant for possession of heroin. She also faces obstruction of justice charges in connection with Wednesday’s chase.

Both suspects are awaiting transfer to the Iberia Parish Jail.

  • Discuss

Welcome to the discussion.


  • Anonymous posted at 12:42 pm on Mon, Aug 31, 2009.

    Anonymous Posts: 130896

    Let somebody have sex with your 14 year old daughter Jim and see if you feel the same.

  • Anonymous posted at 10:47 pm on Fri, Aug 28, 2009.

    Anonymous Posts: 130896

    Please tell me that the Daily Iberian missed something in this story and failed to tell us that this Hidalgo person had a warrant out for him for some type of violent crime before their contact with him. I can not imagine all the resources used were done so just to catch a guy that was having sex. Please tell me!

  • Anonymous posted at 3:52 pm on Fri, Aug 28, 2009.

    Anonymous Posts: 130896

    It's amazing what one can learn from sniffing underpants-much more effective than bicycle seats.

  • Anonymous posted at 11:49 am on Fri, Aug 28, 2009.

    Anonymous Posts: 130896

    Under Louisiana law, a child under age 17 is not allowed to give consent which, to me, makes perfect sense. There is a reason people under 18 can't vote, buy cigarettes, or get married. Certainly a girl of only 14 years does not weigh the consequences of having sex with a man like this. Actually, there are plenty middle aged woment who don't. HELLO! There is a serial killer roaming around Jennings. This father should wake up, involve himself with his child DAY TO DAY and not be afraid to have rules! BELIEVE ME she will thank him later!

  • Anonymous posted at 8:46 am on Fri, Aug 28, 2009.

    Anonymous Posts: 130896

    Classy journalism starting an article with, "After smelling the fugitive's underpants,..."

  • Anonymous posted at 11:01 am on Thu, Aug 27, 2009.

    Anonymous Posts: 130896

    Cuddos to the neighbor who called in the tip. I doubt this was their first encounter. I know this family. Single parent or not, parents must "parent". This girl is 14 and in the 6th grade, has cell phone, internet and not much supervision. Wake up parents!This man is a monster looking for girls just like this.

  • Anonymous posted at 10:41 am on Thu, Aug 27, 2009.

    Anonymous Posts: 130896

    Not only is he's a criminal, he's stupid ! Calling his wife to come get him. BUT, if he is having consensusal sex, I have a problem with charging anyone with a rape charge. I realize there is an age difference of 10 years, but what if would have been 34 and she was 24 ? That wouldnt have been a problem. I dont think the girl was getting into something she had no clue about.


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