Over 120 missing children were recovered in a one-day sweep in a Michigan county, as U.S. Marshals tried to locate victims of sex trafficking.
Out of 301 files of missing children in Wayne County, 123 were identified and recovered safely during the operation led by the newly formed Child Recovery Unit.
The sting throughout Wayne County took place on Sept. 26 but was publicised a week later on Oct 3 by the U.S. Marshals Service.
“All of the children located were interviewed about potentially being sexually victimized or used in a sex trafficking ring during their period of time that they were deemed missing,” said a statement from the U.S. Marshall’s office.
“Three cases were identified as being possible sex trafficking cases, and one homeless teen was transported back to the command post after it was discovered that he had not had anything to eat in three days.”
It was the first time an operation of this kind had been conducted in Wayne County.
“The message to the missing children and their families that we wish to convey is that we will never stop looking for you,” the U.S Marshals statement said.
According to FBI data, over 441,000 entries were filed for missing persons under the age of 18 in 2017 alone.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) says that the issue of missing children is “complex and multifaceted.”
According to the NCMEC website, “Children may become missing due to abduction by non-family members or abduction by family members. Children may become missing as a result of running away from home. Children may also become missing involuntarily for reasons other than abduction such as becoming lost, injured or under other circumstances.”
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