Salem Sabatka Bio
young girl 8 years old Salem Sabatka abducted from a south Ft. Worth, Texas community on Saturday, May 18, was Discovered and rescued by police early Sunday morning and is safe. Salem Sabatka, 8, was snatched while out walking with her mother. The kidnapping was filmed in a dramatic video that eventually led to the abductor’s arrest.
Here’s what you need to know about the kidnapping of Salem Sabatka and how a neighbor’s dramatic video helped community members find her.
An Amber Alert has been issued for 8-year-old Salem Sabatka, a Fort Worth girl kidnapped while walking with her mother. This photo was taken this morning. She was wearing the same outfit when taken. https://t.co/eVX7Aq4KuA pic.twitter.com/0Wo0Jek20M
— Deanna Boyd (@deannaboyd) May 19, 2019
According to police, the mother tried to jump into the vehicle to get her daughter, but she was pushed out. The vehicle then drove off.
Police were able to find and release surveillance video and images of the suspect vehicle from a nearby home.
At around 2:20 a.m., police said that after receiving a tip about the location of the missing girl they were able to find her safe at the WoodSpring Suites in Forest Hill. The suspect vehicle was also found at the location.
According to police, they received the tip from two local church members who were looking for the girl.
KIDNAPPING: Zoom in on video, police say you can see mom being tossed from car after she tried to jump in to get her 8yo daughter Salem Sabatka. Police working this is a kidnapping — started on 6th Ave in Ryan Place area of FW. Please follow @fortworthpd for how to help. @wfaa pic.twitter.com/JX9mtthgyo
— Bradley Blackburn (@BLBlackburn) May 19, 2019
The suspect was later identified as 51-year-old Michael Webb, and he’s been charged with aggravated kidnapping.
Sabatka Was Abducted While She & Her Mother Were Out for a Walk
Sabatka and her mother were walking along the 2900 block of 6th Avenue in Ft. Worth when a man approached the little girl and snatched her at approximately 6:38 p.m. Sabatka’s mother attempted to jump into the car but was pushed out by the kidnapper before he drove off. “The mother was literally thrown from the vehicle,” Ft. Worth Police Spokesperson Buddy Calzada said, explaining that she started running down the street, frantically screaming for neighbors to help her. “HELP ME! HELP ME, PLEASE! MY DAUGHTER JUST GOT KIDNAPPED! HELP ME! OH MY GOD!” she cried out.
Police asked community members to be on the lookout for a gray Ford 500, a four-door sedan with little or no tint and alloy wheels. Police noted that the car had a paper tag.
Have you seen this car? Police release photo of the four-door sedan believed to have been involved in the kidnapping of 8-year-old Salem Sabatka in Fort Worth. Please share. https://t.co/eVX7Aq4KuA https://t.co/5HVE4DpajR
— Deanna Boyd (@deannaboyd) May 19, 2019
Sabatka was described as 4’5″ with brown hair and “very distinct” blue eyes and was wearing a teal shirt with the word “Centennial” across it, as well as periwinkle seafoam green leggings. Members of the media questioned why it took several hours for Sabatka’s Amber Alert to be released. Calzada explained that due to the number of agencies involved, alerts take longer to issue compared to information which can be quickly distributed on social media.
During their search for Sabatka, the Fort Worth Police Department enlisted the help of multiple departments and agencies including the entire Major Case Unit, Special Response Team, Surveillance Camera Registry and Monitoring (SCRAM) Team, Homeland Security as well as the Department of Public Safety. Neighboring police departments also offered their assistance.
The Suspect has Been Identified as Michael Webb and Arrested
Law enforcement has identified Sabatka’s kidnapper as Michael Webb. Webb was described as a bald black male who is 51 years old. Authorities have not disclosed if Webb had a prior criminal history and have not disclosed a motive. Law enforcement was able to confirm that Webb is not related to Sabatka.
During the press update, Calzada said that Webb is facing potential charges of aggravated kidnapping which is classified as a first degree felony. No other information about Webb has been made public.
Know Fast Facts You Need to Know
- Salem Sabatka was found safe at a Fort Worth hotel at around 2am Sunday
- Michael Webb, 51, was taken into custody on a charge of aggravated kidnapping
- Eight-year-old Salem had been missing for over seven hours after being kidnapped in broad daylight while on a walk with her mother Saturday evening
- CCTV footage showed a man grabbing Salem and putting her into his car in Fort Worth’s Ryan Place neighborhood
- Her mother jumped into the car and tried to rescue her daughter before the man pushed her out and drove off
- Police shared descriptions of the suspect and his car, which two citizens spotted at the WoodSprings Suites hotel less than eight miles away
Jese Bal born Nov 9, 1982, is a novelist and poet. He has published novels, volumes of poetry, short stories, and drawings. His works are distinguished by the use of a spare style and have been compared to those of Jorge Luis Borges and Italo Calvino.