Police checked Fort Worth kidnapping suspect's room hours before arrest
FORT WORTH, Texas - Authorities say police visited the motel room in Forest Hill of a man suspected of kidnapping an 8-year-old Fort Worth girl but didn't see the child, who was eventually found safe about two hours later.
Forest Hill PD actually entered the hotel room of Michael Webb, 51, but they failed to find the 8-year-old.
Webb is charged with aggravated kidnapping for allegedly abducting the 8-year-old Saturday as she was walking with her mother. He made his first appearance in federal court on Tuesday.
READ MORE: Man accused of kidnapping Fort Worth 8-year-old appears in federal court
FOX 4 sources said Webb first “cat called” the girl's mother as he drove by, then pulled up behind them and grabbed the girl. Her mother fought to pull her out of Webb’s vehicle, even managing to stomp on the brake pedal until he pushed her out of the car and took off with the girl.
The accused kidnapper threatened to kill the girl’s family if she did not cooperate with him, sources said. He took her to the Woodspring Suites on Interstate 20 in Forrest Hill.
Police say a clerk at the hotel initially called police to report Webb Sunday morning around midnight. Police say Forest Hill officers located Webb’s room. When he eventually answered the door, they say he was “less than cooperative,” but he allowed officers to enter the room and take a look several minutes later.
Forest Hill PD says after doing a visual inspection of areas they describe as “large enough to conceal a child,” they did not locate anyone and left. They say the officers did ask the hotel staff about Webb’s vehicle but were told none was associated with his room. Officers searched the parking lot but did not locate Webb’s car.
About two hours later, another citizen tip led Forest Hill officers back to the hotel where a car matching the description was located. Sources say blood on the passenger seat was visible from outside the vehicle.
Fort Worth PD was also on scene within minutes and took over the investigation. They forcefully entered the same room Forest Hill PD had been just two hours before and discovered Webb and the 8-year-old girl.
The 8-year-old was returned to her family Sunday morning. They released a statement thanking the police, the city of Fort Worth and everyone who helped get her back home safely.
Forest Hill PD was expected to hold a press conference Tuesday about their involvement in the search for the victim, but they abruptly canceled the news conference as local media was waiting at their headquarters.
Forest Hill PD said they canceled the press conference because “our legal department has advised that we make no further releases in an effort to ensure that we don’t jeopardize the ongoing criminal investigation and any subsequent prosecution.”
It’s still unclear what makes Webb’s kidnapping charge a federal offense.
Forest Hill Police Chief Dan Dennis said his department is looking into how officers handled the first call.