A 13-year-old Texas girl helped bring about an end to her own terrifying ordeal with quick thinking and resourcefulness. The girl, whose identity is being withheld, was abducted last month by a stranger and taken all the way from Texas to Long Beach, California. Authorities say the girl was kidnapped at gunpoint from a bus stop in San Antonio on July 6th, and was rescued July 9th.
Her alleged kidnapper, Steven Robert Sabalan, 61, of Cleburne, Texas is said to have pointed a gun at her to get her in his car, saying, “If you don’t get in the car with me, I am going to hurt you,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.
He then allegedly drove her to California over the next 19 hours, allegedly sexually assaulting her multiple times along the way.
On July 9th, when Salaban stopped at a laundromat to wash their clothes, this brave girl saw her chance to get help and get away from her kidnapper. Left in the car by herself while her abductor was in the laundromat, she made a sign with a crumpled paper and red marker that read simply, “Help Me.” God only knows what this fighter had to endure before she found and took her chance to seek help! A good Samaritan saw the sign and called police, which directly led to the girl’s rescue and Salaban’s arrest.
Salaban was booked into the Long Beach city jail. He faces charges of kidnapping, lewd and lascivious acts with a child, and fugitive from justice. If he did what he is accused of, I certainly hope he will be in prison for a very long time.