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'These Children Are Not Forgotten': Marshals Recover 200 Missing and Endangered Children Across the U.S.

US Marshals Rescue 200 Missing and Endangered Children
Source: Office of Public Affairs

The operation was called, 'Operation We Will Find You 2,' and led to 200 missing and endangered children being located.

Jul. 6 2024, Published 12:02 p.m. ET

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The U.S. Marshals Service announced the recovery of 200 missing children through a six week nationwide operation dubbed Operation We Will Find You 2.

The operation, carried out from May 20 to June 24 in coordination with federal, state and local authorities, focused on areas with "high clusters of critically missing children," in Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, New York and Oregon.

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The missing children recovered included endangered runaways and those abducted from "noncustodial persons."

Out of the total recovered, 123 children were removed from "dangerous situations" while the remaining 77 were found to be in "safe locations." In total, 173 children were endangered runaways, 25 were "considered otherwise missing," one was abducted by a family member, and one was abducted by a non-family member.

“There are no words to describe the terror felt by missing children, their families, and their communities,” Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said in a statement. “I am grateful to the dedicated professionals of the U.S. Marshals Service and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children who worked to find 200 critically missing children during this six-week operation, and who work every day to keep children safe.”

The Marshals Service said 57% of the children were recovered within seven days of Marshals assisting with the case.

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“One of the most sacred missions of U.S. Marshals Service is locating and recovering our nation’s critically missing children,” said U.S. Marshals Service Director Ronald L. Davis. “This is one of our top priorities as there remain thousands of children still missing and at risk.”

Recoveries included teens trafficked across state lines through multiple jurisdictions, a runaway who reported being abused by family members, and a 1-year-old child who was not surrendered by her mother, who was previously convicted in the "strangulation, assault, and death of one of her children, a 4-year-old boy."

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“Operation We Will Find You is a shining example of the results we can achieve when we unite in our mission to find missing children,” said Michelle DeLaune, President and CEO of NCMEC. “We are grateful that vulnerable children have been recovered as part of this operation, and we commend the U.S. Marshals Service and all the agencies involved for their commitment to protect youth and ensure these children are not forgotten. Behind every statistic, there is a child who deserves to grow up safe from harm.”

TMX contributed to this report.


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