Denice Miracle was working at the check-in desk at the airport when two teenage girls came forward to her and tried to check in.
She took their tickets, but when they explained to her that they were flying by themselves and didn’t have any ID, she became suspicious.
Denice looked up the tickets on the system and made a horrifying discovery. Her next move would be life-saving.
All of us could pay more attention when we are out and about. You never know when you might be able to help someone, be it carrying something heavy for someone or giving directions. It’s those kind of small gestures that can make a person’s day.
But what Denice, who works at the check-in desk at an airport, did during one of her shifts recently would be unimaginable for most people.
Greeted two girls
Denice meets thousands of people every day who are on their way to-and-from different places. Almost all of them are able to check in and board their flights with no problems at all.
But one day, a normal shift would transform into something else entirely, when two teenage girls stepped up to Denice’s desk.
The two girls were 15 and 17 years old. They handed over their tickets, but Denice noticed something strange.
Neither of the girls had any baggage or ID with them, and they weren’t flying with an adult. Denice decided to take a more detailed look at the tickets in the system to make sure that everything was OK. She quickly realized it wasn’t.
“Between the two of them, they had a bunch of small bags. It seemed to me as if they were running away from home,” Denice tells The Independent.
Called the police
Denice saw that the tickets had been purchased online, but the name of the person who had purchased them didn’t match either of the girls’ names. The tickets were also both expensive first class tickets.
Denice became worried and had a gut feeling that something wasn’t right. She decided to call the sheriff, who immediately came to the airport to talk to the girls. It was only then that Denice was able to learn the truth about the two girls.
The girls had been in contact with a man on social media who offered to fly them out to New York for work. He said that they would be paid for modelling jobs and to appear in music videos – the girls’ parents had no idea they were travelling. Terrifyingly, despite what the girls had been told, the tickets that had been purchased for them had no return flight.
Sheriff Todd Sanderson, who lead the case, explains that he is sure the girls would have become victims of sex trafficking if Denice hadn’t stepped in.
“In my opinion, what was going to happen was they were going to go back to New York and become victims of sex trafficking. They said they wouldn’t have let that happen, and I said they probably wouldn’t have had a choice,” he tells The Independent.
Hailed as a hero: “So proud”
The man who owned the social media account managed to delete his account before the police could investigate him, and he has still not been caught. Denice is now being hailed a true hero – who likely saved those two girls’ lives.
“I’m proud of Denice and how she put her training into action to save these children. She is a testament to the critical role our frontline team members play each and every day in the operation and the lives of each person they come in contact with. She’s a true professional with a huge heart,” says Denice’s boss Aleka Turner in a statement to The Independent.
Denice’s reaction is something we should all take as an example. To be more aware of our surroundings can change, and even save, another person’s life.
Share this story if you think Denice is a real hero!