Flight attendant Sheila Frederick is being hailed as a hero around the web for saving a teenage girl from a human trafficker mid-flight.
According to The Mirror, Frederick spotted the disheveled girl sitting next to a well-dressed man who wouldn’t let her speak. Sensing something was wrong, the 49-year-old attendant made her way to the plane’s bathroom and left a note there.
Frederick then quietly instructed the girl to go to the bathroom. Upon seeing the note, the girl – whose identity has been kept anonymous – reportedly wrote on it, declaring that she needed help.
The Daily Mail reports that Frederick immediately told the pilot what was going on. By the time the plane landed, police were waiting at the terminal and promptly arrested the well-dressed man.
His crime? Human trafficking.
It turns out Sheila Frederick’s instincts were right on the money. The girl, believed to be 14 or 15 was indeed being held against her will.
“I’ve been a flight attendant for 10 years and it’s like I am going all the way back to when I was in training and I was like I could have seen these young girls and young boys and didn’t even know,” she told WTSP.
Although the reported incident took place in 2011, it just recently came to light thanks to Airline Ambassadors – a group hoping to raise awareness about the realities of human trafficking.
According to NBC News, the group wants to train airline staff across the U.S. to spot human trafficking like Sheila Frederick did.
Their efforts are certainly gaining a boatload of attention online; on Twitter, NBC’s story about Frederick has gained a whopping 2,983 retweets.