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Who Is Michael Webb? New Details On Man Who Snatched 8-Year-Old Girl While Walking With Her Mom

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Who Is Michael Webb? New Details On Man Who Snatched 8-Year-Old Girl While Walking With Her Mom

When you're a little kid, your parents give you rules to keep you safe. You don't touch the stove, you don't cross the street without holding a grown-up's hand, and you never, ever get in the car with strangers. Unfortunately, your parents don't tell you what to do when the person in the strange car comes for you. There are some terrifying situations that we just can't predict or avoid. The Sabatka family learned this first hand when their eight-year-old daughter Salem Sabatka was kidnapped in the light of day while going for a walk with her own mother. Here is what we know about her terrifying ordeal and what we know about the man who tried to take her. Who is Michael Webb?

1. Salem Sabatka 

Walking down the street with her mother, Salem Sabatka likely didn't anticipate that her day would be that extraordinary. On May 19th, the eight-year-old girl was out for a walk with her mother on a mild Spring day in her Fort Worth, Texas neighborhood. She had no idea that her entire life was about to be turned onto its head. You see, in plain daylight and in the company of her mother, Salem was abducted by a man who would later be identified as 51-year-old Michael Webb. As Salem walked with her mother, Michael pulled up, grabbed her, pulled Salem into the car and took off with her, leaving her mother momentarily stunned and then panicked. 

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2. Surveillance Footage 

As soon as the door slammed and the car with her daughter inside of it sped away, Salem's mother started screaming for help. “Help me please, someone call the police,” she is reported to have yelled. “My daughter just got kidnapped.” She had no way of knowing it, but her brief tussle with the man was actually caught on film. A neighbor across the street installed security cameras that just barely caught Salem's mother being pushed away as the abductor sped off with the little girl in tow. There was hope though, thanks to the footage caught on tape and Salem's mother's description of the car and the man driving it. 

3. Amber Alert 

Almost immediately after Salem's mother was able to contact the authorities, an Amber alert was issued for the little girl, along with a description of the car and the man driving it who abducted her. Amazingly, in just a handful of hours this led to serious traction and the police made a huge break in the case.  In the very early hours of the following morning, the police found Salem and her abductor at a hotel that was located just nine miles away from the street where she was taken. Michael was immediately taken into custody and Salem was taken to the hospital for observation, though reports are she is unharmed and seems to be doing as well as can be expected. 

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4. Saving Salem 

It was thanks to the coming together of the community in Fort Worth that Salem was able to be found less than 10 hours after her abduction. You see, when the Amber alert went live in the city, multiple witnesses including pastor Jeff Young, reported spotting a car matching the description provided parked in a local hotel parking lot. Acting on these leads, the police were able to quickly gain access to the hotel where they confirmed that Michael Webb was checked in with Salem in tow. Thanks to the quick response of local people eager to get the little girl home, the authorities were able to get her home before any harm could come to her. 

5. Michael Webb

When the police arrested Webb he went with them quietly. At the press conference following Salem's safe return and Webb's arrest, the police shared that at this time, Michael has given no motive for why he decided to abduct Salem the way that he did, but what we do know is that he has an extensive criminal record. While he has never been arrested for aggravated kidnapping, the other charges against Webb in the past are troubling in their own right. The local CBS affiliate in Fort Worth reports that he was arrested last year for aggravated sexual assault, but those charges were dropped when the victim could not testify against him.

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Rebecca Jane Stokes is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her cats, Batman and Margot. She's an experienced generalist with a passion for lifestyle, geek news, pop culture, and true crime. For more of her work, check out her Tumblr