A vigilant airport employee witnessed suspicious behavior by two girls planning to board a plane to New York. Thanks to her quick thinking, those girls likely avoided falling victims to a human trafficking scheme.
Denice Miracle, who works at the ticket counter for America Airlines at the Sacramento International Airport in California, saw that two girls, ages 15 and 17, were on their way to New York City — both with one-way tickets.
“Between the two of them, they had a bunch of small bags,” Miracle said of her first impression of the teens. “It seemed to me as if they were running away from home.”
She also described other warning signs that made her think twice about letting them board.
“They kept looking at each other in a way that seemed fearful and anxious. I had a gut feeling that something just wasn't right,” Miracle added.
Miracle refused to let the girls through to the plane and alerted local police about the situation. Deputy Todd Sanderson responded to the scene, and after speaking to the girls, discovered what was likely a plan by an unknown man in New York to lure them into a life of human trafficking.
The girls told Sanderson about a man named “Drey” whom they met through the social media site Instagram. Drey had offered them $2,000 for modeling work, including being in a music video he was producing. He even paid for their first-class tickets on the flight.
But Sanderson explained to the girls that these types of schemes happen all the time — with outcomes that are never wanted.
“In my opinion, what was going to happen was they were going to go back to New York and become victims of sex trafficking,” Sanderson concluded. “They said they wouldn't have let that happen, and I said they probably wouldn't have had a choice.”
When the girls tried to contact “Drey,” they found he wouldn’t answer his phone. His Instagram account was similarly closed.
Thanks to the fast-thinking actions of an airline staff person, these two girls have avoided what was likely to be a very dangerous situation. Miracle has been credited with saving these girls’ lives — and for living up to her surname.
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: REUTERS, Arnd Wiegmann