On September 25, 2019 Michael Webb, 51, was found guilty of abducting an 8-year-old girl and holding her captive for eight hours. Following a two-day trial, a federal jury convicted Michael of kidnapping after less than 10 minutes of deliberation.
According to evidence presented at trial, Michael grabbed the child as she and her mother were walking on a street in Fort Worth, Texas on May 18, 2019.
The mother and daughter had been out enjoying a walk when Michael drove by them and shouted something. At that point the mother had a talk with her daughter about being careful around strangers, because they may want to hurt her.
Moments later the mother heard a car stop behind them, and saw Michael get out. Michael asked if she liked money, and then reached around her, grabbed the young girl, and threw her into his car.
The mother testified she fought with Michael, even jumping into his car on top of him while he drove away, but he was able to push her out onto the street. Neighborhood surveillance video shows the victim’s mother knocked to the ground as Michael’s car drives away.
In a three-hour recorded interview with the FBI, Michael confessed to the kidnapping, admitting that after successfully fighting off the child’s mother, he drove to a church parking lot. Later that evening, he admitted that he took the girl to a hotel, where he carried the child into a room and held her captive.
It was around midnight when a tip led Texas police officers to Michael’s room. Michael admitted to threatening the girl, and hiding the girl from law enforcement in a small laundry basket. The officers, having visually inspected the room, left without finding the child.
It was ultimately the efforts of a family friend who spotted Webb’s Ford sedan and called 911. Fort Worth Police Department responded and confirmed that there appeared to be blood on the front passenger seat. Law enforcement then acted quickly to gain entry into the hotel room, rescuing the young girl who was found hidden in the laundry basket.
Michael, who has been in federal custody since his arrest, faces up to life in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set. Michael is only charged with kidnapping but U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox said in her opening statement she intends to also prove he sexually assaulted the young girl during the eight hours he had her captive.