Wash. Man Arrested After Texting About Sexually Abusing Children During Southwest Flight: Report

Michael Keller (San Jose, Calif., Police Department); Gail Burnworth (Pierce County, Wash., Jail)
Michael Keller (San Jose, Calif., Police Department); Gail Burnworth (Pierce County, Wash., Jail)

A Southwest passenger is being applauded for her keen eye after she alerted the flight crew about a man sitting next to her who was texting about sexually abusing children, authorities say.

Michael Kellar, 56, of Tacoma, Wash., was arrested after his flight from Seattle landed in San Jose, Calif., Monday. During his flight, according to officials, Kellar was texting Gail Burnworth, 50, about sexually abusing children and bestiality.

“The conversations were very particular in regards to sex acts that were to be performed on ... children,” San Jose Police Sgt. Brian Spears told NBC Bay Area. “Some of the sex acts talked about not only molesting children but performing bestiality.”


The woman sitting next to Kellar saw the text messages because he was using an unusually large font. She took photos of the text messages and showed them to the flight crew, who contacted the authorities.

After an investigation, Burnworth, who works as a child care provider for two children believed to be victims of the sexual abuse, was arrested at her home in Tacoma, too. It’s alleged that Burnworth is in a relationship with Kellar.


Kellar was charged with two counts of felony child molestation and two counts of felony solicitation of a sex crime, NBC Bay Area reports. Burnworth was charged with felony rape of a child in the first degree and felony dealing in depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit content and sexual exploitation of a minor.

The victims in the case are 5 and 7 years old.

Read more at NBC Bay Area.

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It’s a blessing when evil people are equally stupid.