Salem Sabatka, the Texas 8-year-old kidnapping victim was finally rescued by authorities last Sunday. The rescue operation was made possible by two vigilant churchgoers who saw the gray Ford Five Hundred in the hotel parking lot of Woodspring Suites in the suburb of Forest Hill.
A beaming Buddy Calzada, the spokesman for the Fort Worth police, told reporters that the members of the local church saw the Fort Worth Police Department's description of the getaway vehicle. When the pair identified that the car they saw matched the description of the reported vehicle, they immediately called the police.
As previously reported, Salem was walking with her mother Saturday night in Fort Worth when a car approached and a man snatched her. Police said that Salem's mother desperately tried to jump into the vehicle to save her daughter, but the man pushed her and sped away leaving her on the ground in total panic.
After Salem has been rescued and reunited with her family, the two churchgoers received recognition from the police.
“They’re our heroes tonight, I’ll tell you that,” Buddy Calzada stated.
One of the "heroes" was identified as Jeff King. Given the chance to speak about the incident, King told "Good Morning America" that he and Salem's dad knew each other, and after hearing that the girl was abducted, he went to the crime scene and was told by a Fort Worth detective to check parks, apartments, and hotels.
“We got out here and tried to make a difference,” he said. “I went ahead and started looking at parks and then just kind of [was] told this one motel and we went there. And on the way back from that motel, this one was right next to us on the access road, so we just pulled in and yeah, that’s how it happened. It’s kind of crazy.” King added.
On the side note, the 51-year-old suspect Michael Webb was arrested and will face charges of aggravated kidnapping. According to a CBS19 report, Webb was previously arrested in April 2018 on sexual assault charges and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. However, the case was dropped when prosecutors said the alleged victim grew uncooperative.