Police are calling two church-goers in Fort Worth, Texas, ‘heroes’ after they helped authorities locate a missing girl.
According to CBS News, two local church-goers went out looking for eight-year-old Salem Sabatka, after she was kidnapped in broad daylight on Saturday.
Reportedly, the eight-year-old was walking around her neighborhood with her mom when a man, now identified as 51-year-old Michael Webb, shoved her into his car.
According to police, Sabatka’s mother jumped into the car in an attempt to hold on to her daughter but was pushed out of the vehicle. Once Sabatka's mother was ejected from the car, the suspect sped off with the young girl still inside.
Thankfully, a neighbor’s doorbell camera captured the whole ordeal on video and helped police identify the car the suspect was driving. This also allowed authorities to issue an amber alert with the vehicle’s description.
Soon after the alert was issued, two local church members called the police and told them that they had located a vehicle matching the description in a hotel parking lot.
Police identified the car owner and found that he was using a room in the hotel. Authorities were then able to force themselves into the room, where they found Sabatka.
Police were also able to apprehend the suspect.
In a news conference, the Fort Worth Police Department Spokesperson Buddy Calzada told reporters that Sabatka was found safe. He said, “She did physically seem to be okay, but again we are not medical professionals.”
“I can tell you that she was calm,” he added before noting that she was transported to a local hospital to be evaluated.
Calzada also thanked the church-goers who called in the tip saying, “The police department is extremely proud of them, and I'm sure we're going to bring them into the light here pretty soon. They're our heroes tonight, I'll tell you that," CBN News reports.
The relationship between the Sabatka’s and Webb – if there is one – has yet to be identified, but Calzada did confirm that Webb is not related to the family. The 51-year-old is now facing a first-degree felony charge of aggravated kidnapping.
Photo courtesy: Pixabay
Video courtesy: Fort Worth Police Department