Missing girl Salem Sabatka found safe after heroes lead Texas police to her kidnapper – USA TODAY

Missing girl Salem Sabatka found safe after \heroes\ lead Texas police to her kidnapper - USA TODAY

Abducted Texas girl, 8, found safe after church members reported suspects vehicle, police say

A desperate search for an 8-year-old girl in Texas who was snatched while walking with her mother came to an end early Sunday when authorities were able to locate the child thanks to two alert church members who went out and spotted the suspect's vehicle, according to police.

The Fort Worth Police Department said on Twitter just before 2:30 a.m. that Salem Sabatka was found safe at a hotel in the Fort Worth suburb of Forest Hill and that a suspect was in custody.

Lafey Briuna Harps died after being shot in the parking lot of Autumn Chase apartment complex, Officer Buddy Calzada said. Harps was identified by the Tarrant County Medical Examiner Saturday morning.

"I wasn't near the family, but I was listening on the radio when this came out and I was screaming and clapping, police spokesman Buddy Calzada told reporters. "So I can tell you if I was screaming and clapping as an officer here in Fort Worth just listening in, it's unbelievable what the family was thinking."

Harps and another woman were near their car in the parking lot of Autumn Chase apartments when someone started shooting at them from the front of the complex, Calzada said.

Video: 8-year-old girl found safe at hotel after kidnapping in Fort Worth, police say

Sabatka was kidnapped just after 6:30 p.m. on Saturday while on a walk with her mother when a man grabbed the girl and put her in his car.

A 19-year-old woman who was fatally shot in southeast Fort Worth Friday night was identified Saturday morning, police said.

The mother jumped into the car and "fought ferociously" but she was pushed out and the man drove away, police said. A neighbor's doorbell camera captured the moment Salem's mother was thrown from the car.

Fort Worth police were investigating the shooting, which happened in the 3500 block of South Riverside Drive at 10:45 p.m.

Salem Sabatka, 8, was kidnapped by a man in a gray sedan while walking with her mother in Fort Worth, according to police. (Forth Worth Police Department)

Medstar took Harps to John Peter Smith hospital where she died. Police had not made any arrests as of 11 a.m. Saturday.

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After authorities put out an Amber Alert with a description of the suspect's vehicle – a gray four-door sedan — two members of a local church called authorities when they spotted the car at a hotel in Forest Hill.

An eight-year-old girl snatched off the street in front of her mother was found safe seven hours later in a Texas hotel room before police arrested a 51-year-old suspect in her kidnapping. 

Calzada praised the two church members for their actions and the "phenomenal feeling" of helping to locate the child. The two church members, who have yet to be identified, had seen the photos on social media and decided to go out on their own to help authorities find the car.

Heart-wrenching surveillance video showed Salems mother jumping into the vehicle and desperately trying to save her daughter before the kidnapper shoved her out and drove off. 

"They're our heroes tonight," Calzada told reporters. "We had citizens that went out of their way to help find them."

Police discovered Salem Sabatka at a hotel in Fort Worth, Texas, at around 2am Sunday less than eight miles from where she was abducted seven and a half hours earlier. 

Texas girl snatched off street in front of mother is found safe in hotel room of 51-year-old man


The youngster had been out on a walk with her mother Saturday evening in Fort Worths Ryan Place neighborhood when a man grabbed the girl and put her in his car. 

Officers arrived at the scene and located the room where the suspect was staying, where they discovered Salem.

8-year-old girl snatched from mother by man in vehicle in Fort Worth, reports say

Calzada said the 8-year-old appeared to be in good condition and was transported to an area hospital to be checked out by doctors.

The suspect, 51-year-old Michael Webb, is not a relative and is facing aggravated kidnapping charges, according to Calzada.

Authorities said in the coming days, they plan to reveal more about the two church members who helped find the girl.

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