SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — Two Washington state residents have been arrested after a passenger on a Southwest flight into San Jose noticed one of them texting on his phone about sexually molesting young children, authorities announced Thursday.
San Jose police said Michael Kellar, a resident of Tacoma, Wash., was being held in Santa Clara County jail on two counts of attempted child molestation and two counts of solicitation of a sex crime.
According to investigators, a female passenger on a Southwest Airlines flight from Seattle to San Jose last Monday observed a male passenger seated in front of her texting.
The male passenger — identified as Kellar — was utilizing a large smartphone with enlarged font. The female passenger could see that Kellar was texting about sexually molesting young children.
The passenger alerted the flight crew and the San Jose police were contacted. An officer working inside the terminal at Mineta San José International Airport detained Kellar and San Jose detectives immediately responded to the scene along with the San Francisco Division of the FBI.
A follow-up investigation revealed an adult female suspect who also lived in Tacoma engaged in inappropriate sexual texts with Kellar. Additionally, two children — aged 5 and 7 — have been identified as victims.
Members of the Seattle ICAC and Seattle Division of the FBI took the female suspect, Gail Burnworth, into custody at her Tacoma residence.
Burnworth was booked into the Pierce County Jail on sexual exploitation of a minor, first degree rape of a child and dealing in depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct charges.
Persons with information regarding this incident or any other similar incidents are urged to contact Detective Nick Jourdenais and Detective Sergeant Brian Spears of the San Jose PD’s ICAC Unit at (408) 537-1397.
Persons wishing to remain anonymous may either call the Crime Stoppers Tip Line, (408) 947-STOP (7867), or click the “Submit a Tip” link below. Persons providing information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect may be eligible for a cash reward from the Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers.