Salem Sabatka: Suspect identified, charged with felony kidnapping after Texas girl, 8, found safe

A Texas girl has been found safe after she was kidnapped while walking with her mother in Fort Worth’s Ryan Place neighborhood, police said early Sunday.

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Fort Worth Police Department spokesman Buddy Calzada happily shared the update at a news conference, saying two heroes contributed to Salem Sabatka’s safety.


Here are the latest updates:

Update 2:19 p.m. EDT May 19: Officials with the Fort Worth Police Department identified the suspect in the kidnapping of Salem Sabatka as 51-year-old Michael Webb.

He faces a first degree felony charge of aggravated kidnapping.

Update 4:47 a.m. EDT May 19: A suspect is in police custody after Salem Sabatka, 8, was found safe at a Fort Worth hotel.

According to Fort Worth police, police responded to the WoodSpring Suites in Forest Hill after two local church members saw information about the girl's kidnapping on social media and spotted the suspect's vehicle in the hotel parking lot. Officers entered the room and found Sabatka, who appeared to be in good condition. She was taken to a nearby hospital.

The suspect, a 51-year-old black man who is not related to Sabatka, is in police custody and faces a "potential charge of aggravated kidnapping," Fort Worth police Officer Buddy Calzada told reporters early Sunday. The suspect's name has not been released.

Calzada praised the community members who helped find Sabatka.

"We had citizens that went out of their way and help not just the Police Department but a family put some great closure to what we have going on right now," he said, later adding: "These guys are our heroes."


Original report: A Texas girl is missing after police said she was kidnapped while walking with her mother in Fort Worth's Ryan Place neighborhood.

>> See a photo of the girl here

Kidnapped 8-year-old girl: Salem Sabatka 4/9/2011 4"5 56 ..brown hair, blue eyes

Posted by Fort Worth Police Department on Saturday, May 18, 2019

According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Salem Sabatka, 8, was walking with her mother along Sixth Avenue near West Lowden Street about 6:40 p.m. Saturday when a black man in a gray car grabbed the girl and pulled her into his vehicle, Fort Worth police said.

"Once he did that, the mother actually went after her child, as any mother would be expected to do," Officer Buddy Calzada told reporters Saturday night. "The mother was literally thrown from the vehicle ... and immediately started running to people to call the police."

Police also shared footage of the incident captured by a neighbor's doorbell camera.

>> Click here to watch

NEW VIDEO: This video from a neighbor's security camera shows the moments after 8-year-old Salem Sabatka was kidnapped in Fort Worth. If you have any information, contact the Fort Worth Police at 817-392-4200. Read more here:

Posted by WFAA on Saturday, May 18, 2019

Authorities issued an Amber Alert for Sabatka on Saturday night. She is white with brown hair, blue eyes, pierced ears and freckles under her eyes. She weighs 56 pounds and stands 4 feet, 5 inches tall. Officials said she was last seen wearing a teal "Centennial" shirt with periwinkle and seafoam green leggings.

>> See a photo of the shirt here

This is the shirt Salem Sabatka was wearing when she was kidnapped.

Posted by Fort Worth Police Department on Saturday, May 18, 2019

Calzada described the suspect as a bald, light-skinned black male around 40 years old. He has a "skinny build" and was last seen wearing a navy jacket and gray shirt, according to the Amber Alert. The man was driving a four-door, dark gray sedan with alloy wheels and a paper tag, officials said.

>> See an image of the vehicle here

This is the vehicle involved in the kidnapping of 8-year-old Salem Sabatka.

Posted by Fort Worth Police Department on Saturday, May 18, 2019

If you have information about the case, call Fort Worth police at 817-392-4222.

Read more here.

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