Fort Worth, Texas – An 8-year-old girl flew in broad daylight in a car while she was walking with her mother outside Fort Worth, Texas. On Saturday, she was back with her family on Sunday after being found safe about eight hours later at a hotel with her supposed kidnapper.
Police said 51-year-old Michael Webb was arrested for aggravated kidnapping and brought to justice on Sunday. He was detained without connection.
The video surveillance of a house in the suburb of Fort Worth at Forest Hill showed that Salem Sabatka had been taken, reports CBS Dallas.
Her mother tried desperately to hold on, jumping into the car after her daughter but, police said, she was pushed outside as the car left with Salem. His mother was left on the ground panicked.
Police issued a state-wide alert and posted images on Salem's social media and the car that was driving the suspect, asking for help from the public.
Later that night, the police received a tip from two local church members who went in search of Salem.
This information led the authorities to a nearby hotel where, around 2:30 am, they found the vehicle and forced themselves into the room where they found Webb and Salem.
The police greeted the two church members as heroes.
Salem was taken to a local hospital.
The officers said that she was calm and appeared to be in good condition.
Last year, Webb was facing charges of sexual assault and aggravated assault in Texas, but the case was dismissed by prosecutors, who said the alleged victim had become uncooperative.
Hundreds of grateful community members rallied on Sunday to join the police in celebrating the safe return of Salem.
Tim Keith led a walk in the neighborhood to celebrate his return with the grateful community.
"It's a very united community," said Keith. "When something goes out of the ordinary in this neighborhood, you see very quickly the citizens of this neighborhood band."
Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price took part in the walk and hugged the residents, sharing their joy.