Police in Michigan located 25 missing children in several counties with Operation MISafeKid, officials said.
Michigan State Police said they discovered the children in Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties. They tracked down photos, last known locations, and background information.
The operation led to the discovery of a 9-year-old foster care runaway as well as two teen girls who were believed to be sex-trafficking victims, officials added, according to WXYZ-TV.
The victims’ cases were turned over to the Southeast Michigan Trafficking and Exploitation Crimes Task Force along with the FBI, officials said, according to WWJ Radio.
State troopers were able to close the 25 missing children cases by locating the individuals and making sure they were safe or returned them from their homes, officials said.
Michigan currently has 4,016 missing person cases in its database, with 974 of those being children under the age of 18.
In August, a sheriff’s office in Michigan reported that seven children were rescued in Genesse County in an operation that resulted in the arrests of 17 people. In one instance, officials located a 16-year-old in a barn surrounded by barbed wire. The sheriff added that it appears the girl was being held by human traffickers, said Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson at the time.
“The fear in her eyes was real,” he said at the conference about the girl.
“National stats confirm that a pedophile or predator taken off the street can save the life of 25 future victims,” said Swanson, as reported by WNEM-TV. “I don’t want to take police reports of people that have already been assaulted,” said Swanson. “I want to find the people before they hurt the victims.”
Meanwhile, this week, the U.S. Marshals Service said 11 children were located in New Orleans, Louisiana, as part of a monthslong operation. The U.S. Marshals said to local news outlets that they were able to arrest several individuals while recovering the children, including an adult male who was charged with aggravated statutory rape.
And it comes after several other U.S. Marshals operations were conducted around the United States, including in northeastern Ohio, Oklahoma City, Indianapolis, Georgia, and elsewhere over the past month or so. In those operations, more than 100 children deemed endangered or missing were recovered.
Any information about missing or endangered children should be reported to local police offices or to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-The-Lost. Information about violent fugitives can be provided to the U.S. Marshals Service at (504) 589-6872, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or with the USMS tips app. Crimestoppers GNO may also be contacted with tips at (504) 822-1111.