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FBI Takes Custody of Man Charged With Kidnapping 8-Year-Old Girl in Fort Worth

FBI did not provide details on charges for Michael Webb; details to be released

What to Know

  • Michael Webb is accused of kidnapping an 8-year-old girl. He was found in a Forest Hill hotel room with the child early Sunday morning.
  • Webb was arrested by Fort Worth police but has been turned over to the FBI.
  • Webb current faces a charge of aggravated kidnapping but may face other charges.

The man accused of abducting an 8-year-old girl as she walked with her mother in a Fort Worth neighborhood over the weekend is now in the custody of the FBI.

An FBI spokesman confirmed Michael Webb was transferred from Fort Worth police to FBI custody Tuesday morning.

Webb, 51, was charged with aggravated kidnapping after Fort Worth police officers found him with the girl inside a Forest Hill hotel room after receiving a tip from a local pastor. While looking for the girl, Forest Hill police had actually visited the hotel and spoken with Webb two hours before the girl was rescued -- they didn't see anyone in the room with him while doing a visual search.

"You can assure the public that Mr. Webb has not bonded out of jail or been released," the spokesman said in a news release to NBC 5 Tuesday morning.

Forest Hill police were in the hotel where 8-year-old Salem Sabatka was found early Sunday morning about two hours before she was rescued, but did not see her, police said Monday night.

Wearing a purple jumpsuit and in cuffs and legirons, Webb made an initial apperance in federal court Tuesday where he said he understood the charges against him and was assigned public defender John Stickney as his legal counsel.

The FBI spokesman could not provide details on charges, but it's likely Webb will face both state and federal charges in the case.

Fort Worth police arrested Michael Webb, 51, early Sunday morning in connection to the kidnapping of 8-year-old Salem Sabatka.

Webb's bail in Tarrant County is currently $100,000, but it's a moot point since he's been moved to federal custody. U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Cureton said Webb should be considered a flight risk and a danger to the community and ordered Webb held until his next hearing at 10 a.m. on June 4.

Webb has a history of criminal offenses dating to the early 1990s. They include evading arrest, making a terroristic threat, burglary, theft and driving with a suspended license.

A 2018 aggravated and sexual assault charge was dismissed in December after the victim refused to cooperate and left the state of Texas, a prosecutor said.

Fort Worth police say a short, home surveillance clip showing the moment Salem Sabatka's kidnapper drove off with her was instrumental in helping them identify the car.
The 8-year-old Fort Worth girl for whom an Amber Alert was issued Saturday night was located early Sunday morning, police say.
A neighbor's doorbell camera captured part of the vehicle into which 8-year-old Salem Sabatka was reportedly kidnapped Saturday night.
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