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Mon, July 15

Teacher on plane spots man texting about molesting children

Michael Kellar and Gail Burnworth (San Jose Police Department)

Michael Kellar and Gail Burnworth (San Jose Police Department)

SAN FRANCISCO — Authorities say two people have been arrested and two victims have been found after a sharp-eyed airline passenger saw another traveler texting about sexually assaulting children.

San Jose, California police say they arrested 56-year-old Michael Kellar in the city’s airport Monday night after a flight from Seattle. Officers arrested 50-year-old Gail Burnworth in her Tacoma home.

Investigators say it appears that two children, ages 5 and 7, have been sexually assaulted.

The plane passenger told authorities that a man sitting in front of her was texting about the abuse with a large font on a large smartphone. She alerted a flight attendant, who notified an officer stationed at the airport.

"The conversations were very particular in regards to sex acts that were to be performed on ... children," San Jose police Sgt. Brian Spears said. "Some of the sex acts talked about not only molesting children, but performing beastiality."

Kellar and Burnworth are in jail Wednesday, and it’s not known if they have lawyers to speak on their behalf.

The observant female passenger was described as an "early childhood educator" in the Seattle area. "In my eyes, she is our hero," Spears said. "If it wasn't for that young lady's actions, another sexual assault would have occurred."


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