'Something wasn't right': The incredible way this flight attendant saved a teenage girl from human traffickers

By Nombulelo Manyana
07 February 2017

All thanks to a note in the plane's bathroom that said, “I need help.”

A flight attendant has revealed how she saved a young teen from being sex trafficked almost six years ago by leaving a note for her in the plane’s bathroom.

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When Alaska Airline flight attendant Shelia Fredrick (49) was working on a flight from Seattle to San Francisco in 2011, she noticed a disheveled teenager sitting next to a well-dressed man.

“Something in the back of my mind said something wasn't right. He was well dressed. That’s what got me because I thought, 'Why's he well dressed and she's looking all disheveled and out of sorts?' " Shelia said in an interview with 10News.

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She recalled how the teen “looked like she'd been through pure hell" and that the man wouldn't let Shelia speak to the girl. The man would become defensive and the girl wouldn't engage in conversation.

She managed to subtly tell the teen to go to the plane's toilet, where she'd left a note. The teen left a message by writing on the note, “I need help.”

Shelia notified the pilots, who were then able to communicate the message to the police in San Francisco.

The man was arrested when the flight landed.

Read more: ‘It was a miracle we survived’: Horrific in-flight turbulence leaves passengers and crew seriously injured

Flight attendants are now being trained to spot signs of human trafficking by Airline Ambassadors International, founder Nancy Rivard told MailOnline, adding the organisation hoped to incorporate Shelia's instincts into the jobs of staff.

Signs include someone who appears to be controlled or battered and won't answer questions or make eye contact. The perpetrator usually answers all the question for them.

Shelia says she's talked with the teenager a few times over the years.

"I put my phone number on the note that I left for her and I guess she memorised it, so a few weeks later she called me."

The teen is now attending college.

Sources: 10News, DailyMail, Reddit

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