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Cindy McCain Said She Stopped Trafficker, Was Mistaken

'I commend the police officers for their diligence'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 7, 2019 6:00 AM CST
Cindy McCain, second from right, attends the human rights conference, "Stepping Up Action to End Forced Labour, Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking," at UN headquarters on Sept. 24, 2018.   (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

(Newser) – Cindy McCain thought she stopped a case of human trafficking in Phoenix, but police say she was mistaken. During Human Trafficking Prevention Month in January, McCain, who is co-chair of the Arizona Human Trafficking Council, noted more than 31,000 Arizonans had been trained to identify telltale signs. She thought she saw those same signs at Sky Harbor International Airport as she flew in on Jan. 30. "I spotted—it looked odd—it was a woman of a different ethnicity than the child, this little toddler she had, and something didn't click with me," McCain told KTAR on Monday. She said she notified police, and "by God, she was trafficking that kid. She was waiting for the guy who bought the child to get off an airplane." Except police later said that wasn't the case.

A welfare check on the child revealed "no evidence of criminal conduct or child endangerment," Phoenix police said Wednesday, per AZFamily.com. McCain apologized a short time later. "I reported an incident that I thought was trafficking. I commend the police officers for their diligence," she wrote in a tweet, adding, "I apologize if anything else I have said on this matter distracts from 'if you see something, say something.'" (Read about a competitive runner who claims to have been held prisoner by an alleged human trafficker in Minnesota.)

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