Shelia Frederick, a flight attendant for Alaska Airlines, became suspicious when a man and a teenage girl boarded a flight from Seattle to San Francisco. The man appeared well-dressed, while the girl seemed unkempt and avoided eye contact with anyone. Shelia couldn’t shake off her concerns and decided to take a bold and courageous step to ensure the girl’s safety.
While carrying out her duties on the plane, Shelia desperately tried to make eye contact with the girl, signaling her suspicions to a colleague. Together, they devised a plan to distract the man while Shelia attempted to communicate with the girl. Shelia excused herself and went to the back of the plane, overcome with emotions.
Shelia devised an ingenious plan by placing a piece of paper and a pencil in one of the plane’s bathrooms, locking it with the intention of unlocking it only for the girl’s use. She mouthed the word “bathroom” and mimed writing, hoping the girl would understand.
Fortunately, the girl eventually excused herself to use the bathroom, with the man staying close by. Shelia, determined not to leave the area, kept a vigilant eye on the man. Inside the bathroom, the girl discovered the note and wrote back, revealing her desperate plea for help.
Shelia immediately alerted the pilot, who contacted ground control to coordinate with authorities for the man’s apprehension upon landing. The heroic actions of Shelia saved the girl from a potentially dangerous situation.
Over the years, Shelia maintained contact with the young woman she rescued from human trafficking. They have spoken several times, and the girl has since pursued higher education, currently attending college.
Shelia emphasizes the importance of speaking up when something seems suspicious, encouraging others to take action and report any concerns they may have. Her bravery and quick thinking made a significant impact on the young girl’s life, serving as a powerful reminder of the difference one person can make in preventing harm.