It’s mind blowing how human trafficking can happen in plain sight. Thankfully, there are those like this woman who aren’t afraid to be heroes.
Shelia Fedrick, a flight attendant, stands triumphantly after saving a girl from a human trafficker. (Photo // Shelia Fedrick)
Shelia Fedrick, a flight attendant working for Alaska Airlines, noticed something awry on one of her flights – she knew something was wrong when she spotted a distressed 10-year-old girl take a seat on the plane.
The 10-year-old was sitting in the window seat next to older man who claimed to be her guardian. While the older man was well dressed, the girl’s appearance was tense, messy and poor. Fedrick said that the girl “looked like she had been through pure hell.”
The discrepancy between the two was a sign to Fedrick – her instinct told her to intervene. Although Fedrick had tried to talk to the two casually, the man became uptight and paranoid. Arrival time was closing in and direct action could cause the man to make a desperate move – Fedrick had to get creative.
“I left a note in one of the bathrooms,” Fedrick said. Sooner or later, the girl would have to use the restroom. There, she could respond without fear of what the man would do to her.
“She wrote back on the note and said ‘I need help.’”
Fedrick notified the pilot about the man and the girl, who then relayed the info to the airport. Police were waiting at the terminal, and handcuffed the older man as soon as the plane landed. It was discovered that he was a human trafficker.
Thanks to Fedrick, a 10-year-old girl’s life was saved.