A flight attendant is being hailed as a hero after saving a teenage girl from a sex trafficker.
Shelia Fedrick of Alaska Airlines noticed a disheveled teenager about 14 or 15 years old traveling with a well-dressed older man on a flight from Seattle to San Francisco in 2011.
Fedrick, 49, immediately sensed that something was wrong after noticing the girl’s nervous disposition and unkempt appearance. “[She looked like] she had been through pure hell,” Fedrick told WTSP-TV.
When Fedrick approached the girl, the girl looked terrified of making eye contact, and the man tried to keep them from chatting.
“Something in the back of my mind said something is not right,” Fedrick recalled. “He was well-dressed. That’s what kind of got me, because why is he well-dressed and she is looking disheveled and out of sorts.”
That’s when Fedrick hatched a plan: She convinced the girl to go to the bathroom and left a note taped to the mirror. “She wrote on the note that she needed help,” Fedrick said.
Fedrick then immediately reported the man to the pilot, who alerted cops. When the flight landed in San Francisco, the police arrested the man.
Shelia Fedrick later discovered that the girl had been a victim of human trafficking and she had just saved her life.
Fedrick said she kept in touch with the girl, who is now in college.
“I put my phone number on the note that I left for her and I guess she memorized it,” Fedrick said. “A few weeks later, she called me.”
Airline staff are now trained to spot the signs of human trafficking. The incident was spotlighted this weekend because sex trafficking is extremely high during Super Bowl weekend and other major events.
In 2016, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested 2,000 human sex traffickers and saved 400 victims. More than 50,000 women and girls are trafficked into the U.S. for prostitution each year.
This is another reason why President Trump wants to build a wall along the US-Mexico border: There is a massive human trafficking network along our southern border, where Mexican gangs smuggle in sex slaves, forced laborers and illegal drugs into the United States.
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