Police: Airline passenger sees man texting about sexually abusing children

An airline passenger saw a man sitting in front of her texting about sexually abusing children and used her own cell phone to capture his conversation, police said.

The alert woman then quietly notified crew members on the Seattle-to-San-Jose Southwest Airlines flight. They contacted authorities, leading to the man's arrest when the jet touched down at Norm Mineta International Airport, according to investigators.

Read: Formerly Amish Parents Who Gave Daughters to Sex Predator Sentenced to Up to 7 Years in Prison

Michael Kellar, 56, was arrested on one charge of soliciting a sex crime and two counts of attempted child molestation, according to the San Jose Police Department.

10 PHOTOS
Airline rankings according to ACSI
See Gallery
Airline rankings according to ACSI

1. JetBlue Airways Corp.

Photo by Timothy Fadek/Bloomberg via Getty Images

2. Southwest Airlines

Photo by KGrif via Getty Images

3. Alaska Airlines

Photo by mixmotive via Getty Images

4. American Airlines

Photo by rypson via Getty Images

5. Delta Airlines

Photo by rypson via Getty Images

6. Allegiant Air

Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images

7. United Airlines

Photo by csfotoimages via Getty Images

8. Frontier Airlines

Photo by Kathryn Scott Osler/The Denver Post via Getty Images

9. Spirit Airlines Inc.

Photo by Balint Porneczi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

The woman he was allegedly texting, Gail Burnworth, 50, was arrested at her Tacoma, Washington, home on charges of sexually exploiting a minor, child rape and dealing in child pornography, police said.

Kellar is also from Tacoma. He is being held without bail in California's Santa Clara County Jail, online records show.

Burnworth is being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Pierce County Jail, according to online records.

Neither has entered a plea.

Kellar was using a large-screen smart phone with an enlarged font on board the flight, police said. The woman sitting in the row behind him could see his texts and took photos of them with her cellphone, police said.

Read: Man Allegedly Caught Molesting 4-Year-Old Boy, Blames the Devil: Police

Kellar was allegedly talking to Burnworth about two children, ages 5 and 7, who are the abuse victims, investigators said.

The children lived with Burnworth, police said, but their relationship was not revealed.

Kellar initially told officers he had done nothing wrong and was only engaging in role playing and sexual fantasy during his text conversations with Burnworth, police said.

Seattle detectives and FBI agents are investigating the case with the San Jose Police Department's Internet Crimes Against Children task force.

Watch: Jerry Sandusky's Son Arrested, Accused of Child Sex Offenses

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.