Denice Miracle has an oh-so-appropriate last name.
She was in the right place, at the right time and ended up saving two young teen girls , ages 15 and 17, who were duped into thinking they’d just landed a dream modeling gig. But if she wasn’t alert or diligent, these girls would likely be long gone.
The girls had met a man named “Dre” on Instagram, who bought them first class tickets to New York City and promised them $2,000 in cash to do some modeling. The girls told each of their parents that they were sleeping at their friends house, in order to escape for the weekend to New York. When police told them what was really going to happen, they were both reportedly “shocked” and seemed to have no clue at what they were likely walking into.
— WIS News 10 (@wis10) February 17, 2018
It began as a normal Thursday afternoon at work but quickly evolved into a potential nightmare, and Miracle’s quick decision making and following through on her suspicions likely saved the lives of these two young teen girls.
There were “immediate red flags” according to a statement put out by American Airlines.
First, there was no adult with them. It’s not entirely unlikely for a parent to let a teen travel alone – but combined with several other key details it began to become apparent something was very, very wrong with this picture.
“There was no adult with them; they had no identification; the tickets were one-way and multi-leg; they were booked in First Class; and the credit card used to reserve their seats was in neither of their names,” the statement explained.
Sure, teens may travel alone sometimes – but one way tickets? Not in their name? They only had a “bunch of small bags” between them, and that led Denice to believe they may be running away from home. When she informed the girls that they were not going to be allowed to board the flight, they began to walk away. One of them took out her cell phone and made a call, and the entire time they looked “fearful and anxious” according the heroic flight attendant. After seeing their suspicious body language after confronting them, Denice says she “had a gut feeling that something just wasn’t right.”
That’s when she made the decision to not just let the girls walk away and become someone else’s problem. Instead, she called the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department Airport Bureau and told them what happened.
According to American Airlines, when the deputies responded and got the full story, the details were haunting:
It would prove to be a life-altering decision. Four deputies responded, and the story they describe in their written summary 1 of the incident is haunting. The girls met a man they knew as “Drey” on Instagram. He invited them to New York for the weekend to earn $2,000 doing some modeling and performing in music videos. Without their parents’ knowledge, they went to the airport. They told deputies they believed their tickets were round-trip. When the deputies shared that the tickets were in fact one-way, the girls were described as “shocked.” And remember how one of them got on the phone after Denice said they couldn’t fly? Deputies later discovered it was “Drey” on the other end — for the last time. Attempts to call him back failed. His Instagram profile disappeared. Just like that, the man these girls trusted to fly them across the country for some work and quick cash had vanished. Deputies reached the girls’ parents and told them they believed the girls to be victims of attempted human trafficking.
Praise God for alert, caring and quick thinking people like Denice Miracle!