A ‘Miracle’ literally saved two teenagers who were about to be victims of human trafficking. Denice Miracle, an American Airlines ticket agent, was working when the girls attempted to board a flight, but had no identification or return tickets. Miracle immediately thought something was amiss, and her instincts were spot on.
The potential human trafficking victims, age 15 and 17, were trying to board a flight from Sacramento International Airport to New York on August 31, but, without proper identification and no adults accompanying them, Miracle suspected that something was wrong.
Not only were they without ID, but they both also had first-class tickets and very little luggage. They said a man called “Drey” reached out to them on Instagram, promising them both jobs, modeling and performing in music videos, for $2,000.
Miracle dug in deeper, discovering that their one-way first class tickets were purchased using a fraudulent credit card, another red flag.
She contacted Todd Sanderson, a sheriff’s deputy, notifying him of what was occurring.
“I fully believe she probably prevented these girls from becoming victims,” said Sanderson, according to a report by Fox News.
The girls were “shocked” to learn that the credit card used for their tickets was fraudulent, according to local authorities. After being stopped at the gate by Miracle, the girls were soon reunited with their families, who had no knowledge of the girls’ plans to go to New York.
Both Miracle and Sanderson are being hailed as heroes. American Airlines lauded Miracle for her actions, stating that her training may have saved the lives of the two teens.
It is unknown if the suspected human trafficker has been captured or what charges they could face if taken into custody over the incident.
In July, American Airlines increased their efforts to stop human trafficking, teaming up with End Child Prostitution and Trafficking USA to ensure their employees were properly trained and that the necessary corporate policies were in place.
“People think this is only happening in other countries,” said Michelle Guelbart, the non-profit’s director of private sector engagement. “They don’t realize it could be happening on a domestic carrier on a domestic flight.”