How Police Worked Through the Night to Save 8-Year-Old Kidnapped in Front of Mom
After the mom got a good look at the alleged kidnapper, police used her description, nearby surveillance video and tips from locals to find the man.
After an 8-year-old girl was abducted in plain sight while she walked with her mom, police worked through the night to save her and bring her home safely.
Salem Sabatka and her mother were walking through their Texas neighborhood around 6:30 p.m. Saturday when a man allegedly drove up and pulled Salem into his car, police said. Her mother fought valiantly to save her, jumping on the car to try to get her daughter back.
But the distraught mother was left screaming in the street for help.
Fort Worth Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald said Salem's mom was able to get a good look at the man in the car. And after she called 911, by 7 p.m., cops snapped a clear image of the getaway vehicle from a nearby security camera. Police then issued an Amber Alert with descriptions of Salem, the car and the alleged kidnapper.
The alert sparked a massive hunt by locals, who went up and down the neighborhood searching for young Salem. Those searchers included Pastor Jeff King, who checked hotel parking lots for the suspect's car, a gray four-door sedan.
By 2 a.m., King spotted the suspect's car in the parking lot of the WoodSpring Suites in Forest Hill, just 9 miles from where Salem was taken. He immediately alerted authorities.
"I feel like God allowed me to be a tool and that's it," King said.
Around 2:30 a.m., cops stormed the suspect's hotel room — and rescued little Salem. Relief and joy rang through the officers on the scene.
"We got her! We got her! ... He's in custody. We have her!" a cop could be heard saying in video.
Salem was returned safely to her home, and her neighbors erupted in cheers at her homecoming.
Michael Webb, 51, has been charged with aggravated kidnapping. He is being held without bond, The Associated Press reported, and online records didn't list an attorney for him.
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