Salem Sabatka had been kidnapped while walking with her mother on Saturday night in Fort Worth, Texas.

By Helen Murphy
Fort Worth Police

Salem Sabatka, an 8-year-old girl who was abducted in Fort Worth, Texas, while walking with her mother on Saturday night, has been found safe, police said.

“As you can see, there’s a smile on my face. I’m here to report that Salem has been found safe,” Buddy Calzada of the Fort Worth Police Department began a press briefing early Sunday morning. The briefing was held in front of the hotel where Salem was found by police.

Two individuals, who Calzada described as members of a local church, saw the vehicle police had described as part of the kidnapping and called it in.

Fort Worth police arrived on the scene after receiving the call. The child was then taken to a local hospital and has been reunited with her family.

Suspect Michael Webb, 51, was arrested and now faces charges of aggravated kidnapping. Webb is not related to the girl, Calzada explained in the briefing. (An attorney who might speak on his behalf was not immediately identified.)

Thanking the two church members, Calzada said: “They’re our heroes tonight, I’ll tell you that.”

“Detectives are still investigating and analyzing certain parts of two different crime scenes,” Calzada told PEOPLE on Sunday afternoon. “We are waiting for an update from them before releasing any additional information.”

According to KTVT, Salem had been walking with her mother on Saturday night when a car approached them and a man grabbed her. Salem’s mother tried to jump inside the vehicle and save her, but the man pushed her out and drove off.

“It’s a phenomenal feeling,” Calzada said during the briefing. “We had citizens that went out of their way and helped not just the police department, but a family put some great closure to what we had going on right now.”

The two individuals who located the vehicle have not yet been identified by police, but Calzada said the police department would like to honor them publicly soon. “These guys are heroes,” he said.



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