Published: Wed, August 09, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Grace Becker

Airline passenger looks at man's text messages and saves 2 kids

Airline passenger looks at man's text messages and saves 2 kids

The messages, exchanged between Tacoma, Wash. residents Michael Keller, 56, and Gail Burnworth, 50, took place as Kellar flew into the Bay Area for work on July 31, federal investigators said.

The couple was arrested after a passenger aboard a Southwest Airlines flight saw an explicit text message exchange about the plot.

"One of the messages the passenger photographed showed Kellar allegedly messaging Burnworth, "...you can do this or are you just saying this???" to which Burnworth replies, "No I think I can do it if I don't have parents over my shoulder or anxious about who's going to walk in on me And then on Sunday I will have the kids no parents just kids".

"No I think I can do it if I don't have parents over my shoulder or anxious about who's going to walk in on me", Burnworth responded, according to charging papers.

Confronted by investigators in Tacoma, Burnworth allegedly acknowledged that she had a sexual interest in children and admitted to previously sexually assaulting one of the victims on camera and taking nude photos of the other victim and then sending the videos to Kellar. She immediately alerted flight crew who in turn, phoned the police.

However, authorities said that, as a babysitter, Burnworth had access to children and that Kellar was getting to the victims through her. She also admitted she was arranging a time for Kellar to have a sexual encounter with them, according to the federal complaint.

A few days later, while sitting on the Southwest flight, Kellar repeatedly asked Burnworth for "all the videos today".

The passenger who caught Burnworth's messages was praised for her actions by San Jose police Sgt Brian Spears, who leads the Silicon Valley's Internet Crimes Against Children task force.

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But police say she told them she "probably" would have committed the sickening crimes described in the texts. "I feel she is absolutely a hero and was paramount to this investigation".

An #Airline passenger, a female preschool teacher who remains unidentified, saved two kids, ages five and seven, from #Sexual Molestation by reading the #text messages of her fellow passenger.

The two were charged Monday (August 7) with attempted enticement of a minor, including rape of a child and conspiracy to produce child pornography. Burnworth reportedly recorded up to 20 videos of the children naked, some of which showed her abusing them. "And then on Sunday I will have the kids no parents just kids".

In an interview with The Mercury News, the teacher, who wished to remain anonymous said: "I'm being labeled as a hero".

"I don't know how I saw it, I just saw in big text, 'child in their underwear, '" she said.

'I thought, "What did I just see?" I'm just so thankful the kids are safe'. "Then I could see more texts coming in".

After arresting Kellar in San Jose, detectives contacted their counterparts in Seattle, who traced his texts to Burnworth's home in Tacoma.

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