A kindergarten teacher is being hailed by police as a hero after alerting authorities to a man on the same flight who she spotted texting some extremely fucked-up stuff about kids.
The woman was seated behind a man called Michael Kellar on a flight from Seattle to San Jose, when she noticed what was on his phone screen. Apparently she was able to see the phone and its contents because Kellar was trying to angle it away from the people sitting next to him, and because he was using an enlarged font. She used her own phone to photograph what she saw, alerted the flight crew, and handed the evidence over to San Jose police at the airport.
The police say the contents of the messages was pretty disturbing, with a spokesperson saying:
The conversations were very particular in regards to sex acts that were to be performed on … children. Some of the sex acts talked about not only molesting children, but performing bestiality.
San Jose sex crimes detective Nick Jourdenais said that the teacher spotted “certain words” in Kellar’s messages, and made the decision to keep reading.
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.
The woman’s actions led to Kellar’s arrest, and though he tried to play the messages off as a bit of light-hearted fantasy sexting (vomit), also led police to investigate the woman who he had been messaging.
Gail Burnworth was found with two children who she had been babysitting, aged five and seven, and arrested on charges of sexual exploitation of a minor, rape of a child in the first degree and dealing in sexually-explicit child imagery. Kellar has been charged with two counts of attempted child molestation and two counts of solicitation of a sex crime.
The kids with Burnworth have been identified as the victims of her and Kellar’s crimes. Jourdenais has credited the teacher with saving them from further horrors, saying:
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.