Over 200 Missing Children Rescued In US Marshals’ Nationwide Operation

In a remarkable feat of coordination and dedication, the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) announced the successful rescue of over 200 missing children through a six-week operation. Dubbed “Operation We Will Find You 2” (OWWFY2), this national effort, which concluded recently, involved collaboration across federal, state, and local agencies.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) highlighted the operation’s outcomes in a press release on Monday. From May 20 to June 24, the USMS targeted areas with high numbers of missing children reports, spanning seven federal judicial districts. The result was the recovery of 200 critically missing children, with 123 rescued from dangerous situations and 77 found in safe conditions verified by law enforcement or child welfare agencies.

Among the rescued children, 173 were identified as endangered runaways, 25 were categorized as otherwise missing, one was a victim of family abduction, and another was involved in a non-family abduction. Notably, a child as young as five months old was among those found, and 14 children were recovered outside their city of disappearance.
Attorney General Merrick B. Garland praised the efforts of the professionals involved.

“There are no words to describe the terror felt by missing children, their families, and their communities,” Garland stated. “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 operation extended across multiple states, including Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, New York, and Oregon. The teams not only focused on locating missing children but also confirmed their safety and addressed severe risks such as child sex trafficking, exploitation, and other abuses.

In addition to the rescues, three individuals were arrested, highlighting the ongoing risks and challenges in protecting vulnerable children. This operation underscores the vital role of inter-agency cooperation in addressing the critical issue of missing children and ensuring their safe return.

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