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While on a plane, a female preschool teacher was trying to mind her own business. She buried her nose in her book because she didn’t want to have to talk to the people next to her. But she couldn’t ignore the man next to her. He was furiously typing on his smartphone and seemed to be all agitated. She peeked a look at the screen in the man’s hand and thanks to enlarged font, quickly realized what was happening. Then the woman on the Southwest flight contacted the police and helped them arrest two people suspected of sexually abusing young children – and in the process making the world a safer place.
The Seattle-area preschool teacher was taking a flight to San Jose, California on Monday when she saw the man next to her texting about sexually abusing children.
As she read the disturbing messages about how the man molests young children, the preschool teacher took pictures of his smartphone screen and alerted the flight crew.
As soon as the crew landed in San Jose, Southwest called the police and officers were waiting for the man in the terminal.
“It was in large font, and she sees certain words and starts contemplating there’s something bigger there,” San Jose sex-crimes detective Nick Jourdenais told the Mercury News. “Then the conversation transitions to children. That’s the moment when she decided to preserve the evidence as best as she could.”
Police and FBI agents together detained 56-year-old Michael Kellar, the alleged child molester in the terminal. He is from Tacoma, Washington.
Now police are working with Kellar’s cellphone provider to target the home he was sending the text messages to. And they have found the woman he was texting in Tacoma.
50-year-old Gail Burnworth was Kellar’s accomplice in child molestation. She was the one obtaining children for Kellar to sexually abuse. The kids were just 5 and 7. And they have been identified as victims.
Burnworth was a babysitter and was able to give access to Kellar, and potentially more child molesters, when she was alone with the kids.
Kellar was arrested and booked into the Santa Clara County Jail on two felony counts of attempted child molestation and two felony counts of solicitation of a sex crime, Buzzfeed reports. He is held without bail because he is a flight risk.
Meanwhile, Burnworth, the evil babysitter, is in Pierce County jail in Washington. She has been charged with felony counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, rape of a child, and dealing in depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
The preschool teacher who took action against these criminals is a hero, the police say.
“It’s kind of mind-blowing,” Jourdenais said. “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.”
What do you think about this preschool teacher’s ability to collect evidence and help put two child molesters behind bars?
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