People are praising a Californian airport deputy and agent for potentially saving two girls from human trafficking.
Traffickers persuaded two teenagers to fly to New York, but their plans went awry thanks to Denice Miracle, a Sacramento International Airport American Airlines agent, reports Fox 40.
On Aug. 31, the girls, ages 15 and 17, approached Miracle with reservations made on a fraudulent credit card. Neither had booked a return flight home nor had identification on them.
"I think the way they kept looking back-and-forth at each other like they weren't really sure," Miracle recalls of the moment she grew suspicious, reports KOVR. "And then they were texting someone on the phone and that person was giving them answers."
"It was a first-class ticket; it was very expensive," she added. "I told a supervisor go to [tell] the sheriff that it just doesn't feel right. It just didn't feel right."
So Miracle alerted Todd Sanderson, sheriff's deputy at the Sacramento International Airport, who later questioned the girls.
"They had told us they were talking to somebody on Instagram who was asking them to come back and take pictures, modeling pictures, and music videos," said Sanderson.
"That's typically the ruse that's being used to get minors and others involved to do that," he added.
At first, the girls didn't believe they had been tricked into a trafficking situation.
"They were somewhat flippant saying that no, that can't be true and I said, 'No, the airline says you have a one-way ticket,' and I said, 'It’s my belief you're going back there not to do the things you think you're going to do,'" Sanderson said. "And they said, 'I wouldn't let anything happen that I didn't want to.' And I said, 'Well, probably you wouldn't have a choice in the matter.'"
Thankfully, the girls eventually believed Sanderson. They were shaken but saved.
Afterward, authorities tried to look the man up, but it was too late.
"When we attempted to look him up on Instagram just a few minutes after contact he erased all of his profiles on social media," Sanderson said.
Sanderson notified the girls' parents after the event. They reportedly said they thought the girls were staying at the other's home and were shocked.
"I fully believe [Miracle] probably prevented these girls from becoming victims," said Sanderson.
"She probably really was their miracle that day whether they want to believe it or not," he added.