Great News: United States Marshals Service Has Recovered 200 Missing Children

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File

On Monday, the United States Marshals released a statement describing the conclusion of Operation We Will Find You 2, which resulted in the recovery of 200 missing children around the nation

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Operation We Will Find You 2 (OWWFY2), the second-of-its-kind nationwide missing child operation, was conducted from May 20 to June 24 and focused on geographical areas with high clusters of critically missing children.  Children who go missing may be in serious danger and can be vulnerable to child sex trafficking, abuse, exploitation, and other crimes against children.

With technical assistance from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), Operation We Will Find You 2 resulted in the recovery and removal of 123 children from dangerous situations.  An additional 77 missing children were located and found to be in safe locations, according to law enforcement or child welfare agencies. Of the 200 children found, 173 were endangered runaways, 25 were considered otherwise missing, 1 was a family abduction and 1 was a non-family abduction. The youngest child recovered was 5 months old. 14 of the children were found outside the city where they went missing. Additionally, of the missing children recovered, 57 percent were recovered within seven days of the USMS assisting with the case. 

For once, it's nice to get a piece of unalloyed good news. Two hundred children who were lost have now been found, and most are on their way back to their families. 

Human trafficking, including the trafficking of children, has been a growing issue in recent months.

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Attorney General Merrick Garland astounded the citizenry by saying something that people from across the political spectrum can agree with:

“There are no words to describe the terror felt by missing children, their families, and their communities,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “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.”

“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.”

Some of the "significant recoveries" listed in the report included:

  • A 16-year-old girl from Michigan who was being held captive by a 30-year-old male in Indiana; the captor had photos of cash and weapons posted on social media, including a photo in which he was holding a gun on the child. The girl is now free, and the captor is in the hoosegow.
  • A 15-year-old girl in Florida was recovered from an apartment building in Miami, where she had been held for sexual trafficking purposes.
  • A 12-year-old girl in Portland, Oregon, who had reported allegations of sexual abuse by family members, was recovered and placed in foster care.
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Federal law enforcement agencies have come under fire for many reasons in recent months. The U.S. Marshals Service seems to have escaped most of the opprobrium, and with justification; the bulk of the Marshals Service represent what law enforcement should be.

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