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Crime News Breaking News

Missing Texas 8-Year-Old Found Safe After Members Of Her Church Spot Vehicle Of Alleged Kidnapper

The girl was described as calm and unharmed after police found her in a hotel with a 51-year-old man.

By Eric Shorey
Michael Webb

Update: This story has been updated to remove the victim's name.

An 8-year-old girl in Texas has been safely recovered from her alleged kidnapper by police.

The victim was taken to a hospital after being discovered at a hotel with Michael Webb, 51, on May 19. Webb has since been arrested and now faces a felony charge of aggravated kidnapping.

Video of the girl being grabbed and whisked away from her mother during a walk outside Fort Worth, Texas was caught by a local's doorknob security camera on May 18. Her mother attempted to fight off the alleged abductor but was unsuccessful. The man who took the child then drove away.

Police immediately issued an Amber Alert and shared images of the getaway car on social media. Local churchgoers who recognized the escape vehicle from public alerts called their sighting in to police, leading them to the girl's rescue from the WoodSpring Suites Fort Worth Hotel at around 2:30am.

Buddy Calzada, spokesman for the Fort Worth police, announced the happy news at press conference later that day.

"As you can see, there is a smile on my face. I'm here to report that [the victim] has been found safe," Calzada said, according to CNN.

The police have now hailed the two citizens who aided the girl's recovery as heroes. The two will remain unnamed until the investigation is completed.

Following her retrieval, the 8-year-old was reunited with her family. She was described as calm and unharmed.

Webb's criminal record indicates he has been arrested 15 times since 1985, according to CBS 19 of Tyler, Texas. He had most recently been jailed in April of 2018 after facing aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and sexual assault charges. He was released on a personal recognizance bond as the case was dismissed in November of 2018.

Webb's bond has not yet been set. He was booked into the Tarrant County Jail on Sunday morning.

A motive for his actions remains unclear.

“I can’t put myself into a kidnapper’s mind,” Fort Worth Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald said, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.