Texas girl, 8, abducted in front of her mother, found safe thanks to 'heroes' who reported suspect's car
The authorities have said that 8-year-old Salem Sabatka, a girl who was abducted in Fort Worth, Texas, while she was walking with her mother on May 18 night, has been found safe. Buddy Calzada of the Fort Worth Police Department said in the press briefing early on Sunday, May 19, morning: "As you can see, there’s a smile on my face. I’m here to report that Salem has been found safe."
PEOPLE reported that the briefing took place in front of the hotel where Salem was found by the authorities. Calzada described that two members of a local church saw the vehicle which the authorities had described as part of the kidnapping and immediately called it in.
An Amber Alert had been issued for Salem, who is 4'5", shortly after her abduction, describing the suspect as a 'light-skinned black male of skinny build' and the car as a dark gray four-door sedan with alloy wheels. The two locals reported seeing a car that matched the Amber Alert description in the parking lot of the WoodSprings Suites hotel in Forest Hill and contacted authorities.
The Fort Worth police arrived at the scene after they received the call and the child was taken to a local hospital shortly after. Salem has been reunited with her family. 51-year-old suspect, Michael Webb was arrested and currently faces charges of aggravated kidnapping, which is a first-degree felony. Calzada explained that Webb is not related to the child.
Calzada thanked the two members of the church and said: "They’re our heroes tonight, I’ll tell you that. Detectives are still investigating and analyzing certain parts of two different crime scenes. We are waiting for an update from them before releasing any additional information."
According to KTVT, Salem was walking with her mother on Saturday night when a suspicious car approached them and a man grabbed her. Salem's mother reportedly tried to jump into the vehicle to save her child but the man pushed her out and then drove away.
Calzada said in the briefing: "It’s a phenomenal feeling. We had citizens that went out of their way and helped not just the police department, but a family put some great closure to what we had going on right now."
The two church members who located the vehicle are yet to be identified by the authorities but Calzada said that the police department would like to publicly honor them very soon. He said: "These guys are heroes."
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