A young woman was saved from human trafficking thanks to one flight attendant’s quick thinking, and a note.
During a 2011 flight from Seattle to San Francisco, flight attendant Shelia Frederick noticed something she called “not right,” according to WTSP.
Frederick, 49, was working for Alaska Airlines and guessed that the girl was about 14 or 15 years old, NBC News reported.
A teenage girl was flying with an older man, and who would answer the flight attendant’s questions for the girl, who never looked up, WTSP reported. He even became defensive, according to NBC.
“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,” Frederick told WTSP.
Frederick was able to tell the girl to go to the bathroom, where she put a note on the mirror asking if the girl needed help. The note Fredrick got back said she needed help, according to reports.
Frederick told the pilot, who in turn notified the police who were waiting at the terminal when the plane landed according to Fox 40.
Airline Ambassadors has been working since 2009 to make sure that flight crews are trained to spot and report when a trafficker flies with a victim, according to NBC. Last week, Airline Ambassadors president, Nancy Rivard, flew to Houston for a training session with about 100 flight attendants who volunteered for the training.
WTSP reports the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) said the state received 1,892 reports of human trafficking, a 54 percent increase from the previous year.
Frederick told WTSP the teenage girl is now going to college, and has spoken to her “a few times” over the years after leaving her phone number on the note.