Earlier this month, Mary MacCarthy and her daughter took a Southwest Airlines flight to be with her family following the death of her brother.
MacCarthy is white and her 10-year-old daughter biracial.
A Southwest flight attendant reported the mother and daughter as "suspicious" to the pilot. Two Denver police officers and a Southwest representative met MacCarthy and her daughter when the got off the plane at Denver International Airport, according to Insider.
"As a mother to a biracial child, it immediately clicked in my brain," she told Insider. "I assumed we had been reported for trafficking."
According to a police report from the Denver Police Department, officers were sent to the airport over a "report of possible Human Trafficking reported by Southwest Flight Attendant."
The police report states that a Southwest attendant on the connecting flight told authorities that "the mom and daughter did not talk during the flight and she felt that it was odd and also the mother did not allow the child to talk to flight crew."
MacCarthy denied this claim as an "outright lie" in a later email to investigators, saying her daughter spent much of the flight listening to an audiobook and that they had spoken during the trip.