Monday 23 October 2017

Suspected child abuser arrested after fellow plane passenger spots him texting about molesting kids

A fellow plane passenger saw Michael Gellar texting about abusing children
A fellow plane passenger saw Michael Gellar texting about abusing children

Kathy Armstrong

A woman managed to stop an alleged child abuser when she noticed another plane passenger texting about molesting a minor, police have said.

The woman - who has not been named - was on a Southwest Airlines flight from Seattle to  San Jose on Monday when she spotted suspect Michael Kellar.

He was using a large Smartphone and the font was enlarged so she could see that he was texting about sexually abusing young children.

She took a picture of the messages and let the flight crew know .

The crew called a San Jose Police Officer who was working at the airport, Kellar (56) was arrested as soon as they touched down.

Police have since arrested Gail Burnworth (50), from Seattle, in connection with the texts.

Two young children (aged five and seven) have been identified as victims.

San Jose detective  Nick Jourdenais praised the passenger's quick thinking and reporting what she saw.

Gail Burnworth has been arrested in connection with the investigation
Gail Burnworth has been arrested in connection with the investigation

He told The Mercury News: "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.”

Kellar was booked into the Santa Clara County Jail on two counts of Attempted Child Molestation and two counts of Solicitation of a Sex Crime.

Burnworth was booked into the Pierce County Jail for Sexual Exploitation of a Minor — Rape of a Child 1st Degree — and Dealing in Depictions of a minor Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct.

Police have revealed that Burnworth was working as a babysitter, which is how she had access to children.

They have declined to comment on whether the children are related to the suspects or how Burnworth and Kellar know each other.

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