FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Authorities say police visited the motel room of a North Texas man suspected of kidnapping an 8-year-old girl, hours before the child was found safe.
Michael Webb is charged with aggravated kidnapping after authorities say he snatched the girl as she walked with her mother Saturday night in a residential Fort Worth neighborhood. The child was found early Sunday at a WoodSpring Suites motel in nearby Forest Hill.
Forest Hill police were called after someone alerted the motel clerk that they thought they’d seen the suspect on the property and that he had a girl with him. Officers say when they arrived Webb was “less than cooperative” and only opened the door to the room after they’d knocked several times.
After questioning Webb for several minutes officers were allowed inside the room where they spoke with Webb more and ultimately left after looking over “the areas of the room that appeared to be large enough to conceal the missing child” and not seeing little Salem Sabatka.
Investigators say the officers were also interested in any vehicle that Webb might be driving but were told by the clerk “there were none associated with his room.” Before leaving officers checked the parking lot and said they didn’t see any vehicles that matched the picture of the suspect vehicle that Fort Worth police posted on social media.
After receiving another tip, Forest Hill officers returned at around 2 a.m. Sunday –about two hours after the first visit. Members of the Fort Worth Police Department arrived shortly after and found the girl inside the motel room with Webb.
Forest Hill Police Chief Dan Dennis says the department is looking into the officers’ handling of the earlier call.
Webb was initially in Fort Worth police custody, but was transferred to FBI custody Tuesday morning.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)