FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Michael Webb, 51, is in the Tarrant County Jail and charged with the aggravated kidnapping of 8 year-old Salem Sabatka. Police suspect additional charges will be coming.
Fort Worth police believe the kidnapping was random, and that the victim and suspect had no prior relationship.
They believe Webb is a transient and are not sure what brought him to North Texas or led him to kidnap the 8-year-old girl.
Although Sunday’s arrest was the first in Tarrant County, court records show Webb has a criminal history dating back more than 15 years.
Prior crimes include burglary, drug possession and theft out of Bowie County. Last year in Smith County, a woman believed to be older than 30 claimed he assaulted her at a Tyler motel. The two apparently knew each other.
Webb was charged with sexual assault and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, both felonies, but the case was later dismissed. Richard Vance, assistant district attorney for Smith County, handled this case.
“The decision that we made had to do with at that time we had an uncooperative victim out of state,” Vance said.
“With a case like that it certainly helps to have the victim there present to testify,” he said. “That wasn’t going to happen because the trial date was approaching so we made the decision to dismiss.”
Vance said the hope now is to track down the victim and, within the statute of limitations, indict again.