A passenger on a flight helped save two young children after she spotted the man in front of her texting disturbing messages about sexually molesting them.
Thanks to an enlarged font and big screen, the preschool teacher from Seattle was able to read the messages and take pictures of them before alerting the flight crew.
The man, 56-year-old Michael Kellar of Tacoma, Washington, was then detained by police and the FBI when the Southwest Airlines flight from Seattle to San Jose landed on Monday.
People are now calling the woman a hero for saving the two children, aged five and seven.
San Jose sex-crimes Detective Nick Jourdenais told The Mercury News:
It was in large font, and she sees certain words and starts contemplating there’s something bigger there.
Then the conversation transitions to children. That’s the moment when she decided to preserve the evidence as best as she could.
It’s kind of mind-blowing. She gets on a plane, a normal citizen minding her business.
A couple of hours later, she’s intervening on quite possibly the most traumatic thing children can go through. This was life-altering for them.
50-year-old Gail Burnworth, who was working as a babysitter, was also arrested after it was discovered from the evidence that she was carrying out Kellar’s sexual requests on the two victims.
The two declined to comment on how they knew each other.
Kellar is currently being held without bail in the Santa Clara County jail on two felony counts of attempted child molestation and two felony counts of solicitation of a sex crime.
Burnworth is currently being held at Pierce County jail in Washington for felony counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, rape of a child, and dealing in depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.