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After Seeing Man’s Texts While Sitting On A Flight, Woman Helps Save Children From Abuse

A Seattle-area teacher aided police in saving two young children from sexual abuse while aboard a Southwest Airlines flight. The teacher, an unidentified woman, was flying from Seattle to San Jose on Monday when she noticed a passenger in front of her was texting about sexually molesting children.

The passenger, 56-year-old Michael Kellar of Tacoma, Washington, had an enlarged font on his phone that allowed the teacher to read his messages with ease. She took photos of the messages with her own phone and promptly alerted the flight crew. Kellar was detained once they landed in San Jose.

According to San Jose sex-crimes Detective Nick Jourdenais, the Seattle teacher had kept her eye on the phone conversation for quite some time. The conversation seemed slightly harmless at first, though it quickly changed to a discussion of child sexual abuse shortly thereafter. “That’s the moment she decided to preserve the information as best she could.”

Using the information from Kellar’s cell phone, the police along with FBI agents, were able to target his Tacoma home and find the woman he was texting. Investigators have reported that 50-year-old Gail Burnworth was the woman carrying out all of Kellar’s sexual requests on two children ages 5 and 7.

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