What to Know
- Michael Webb is accused of kidnapping an 8-year-old girl. He was found in a Forest Hill hotel room with the child early Sunday morning.
- Webb was arrested by Fort Worth police but has been turned over to the FBI.
- Webb current faces a charge of aggravated kidnapping but may face other charges.
About two hours before her rescue, Forest Hill police were inside the hotel room where a kidnapped 8-year-old child was being held captive but they didn’t see her, police say.
The Forest Hill Police Department announced a planned press conference at 3 p.m. Tuesday to discuss the incident.
However, the department canceled the press conference on the advice of its attorneys, citing the ongoing investigation.
The girl was walking with her mother along the 2900 block of 6th Avenue in Fort Worth’s Ryan Place neighborhood Sunday when a man snatched the girl and put her in his car at about 6:38 p.m. The child’s mother jumped into the car to try to fight the man, but she was pushed out as he drove away with her child, Fort Worth police said.
An Amber Alert was issued for the girl at about 11 p.m. Saturday, as neighboring police departments and community members began canvassing the area.
Forest Hill police officers went to WoodSpring Suites in the 4100 block of East California Parkway in Forest Hill at about 12:01 a.m. Sunday. Police said the front desk clerk told them a third party thought they’d seen the suspect Fort Worth police were looking for in connection to the girl’s kidnapping, later identified as Michael Webb.
The clerk told police the caller said they saw Webb earlier, and that he had a girl with him, according to Forest Hill police.
At the time officers spoke with Webb, only a description of the man police were looking for had been released — not his name or photo.
Pastor Jeff King helped police find missing 8-year-old Salem Sabatka of Fort Worth on Sunday morning. He insists it was not heroism but divine intervention that lead them to her whereabouts.
Police said they went to Webb’s hotel room, where they spoke to him through the door. After several minutes, Webb allowed officers into his room, police said.
Officers “made visual inspection of the areas of the room that appeared to be large enough to conceal the missing child,” but did not see anyone else inside, police said.
Forest Hill police said their officers left the scene after they did not see anyone or learn any new information. They also said officers checked the parking lot for the vehicle Fort Worth police posted a picture of on social media, but could not locate it.
The kidnapping of a Fort Worth girl is raising questions about how Amber Alerts are issued and why cell phones failed to buzz with the emergency information Saturday night.
Forest Hill officers returned to WoodSpring Suites around 2 a.m. because of another tip, police said. The investigation was handed over to Fort Worth police about six minutes later, and the girl was rescued shortly thereafter.
Webb was in the Tarrant County Jail on $100,000 bond, facing a charge of aggravated kidnapping. On Tuesday morning he was transferred into FBI custody. It’s unclear what additional charges he will face.
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