An operation led by US Marshals has recovered 27 missing children in Virginia. “Operation Find Our Children” was a collaboration between multiple agencies to rescue children who were vulnerable to child trafficking and exploitation. It was the latest in a series of operations that have recovered hundreds of missing kids throughout 2020.
US Marshals Search Virginia
The US Marshals announced the operation’s success in a statement on Friday, October 30. According to the agency, the operation brought together investigators from numerous agencies for a five-day search throughout the state, leading to the recovery of the missing children.
Operation Find Our Children resulted in the recovery of 27 previously missing children throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia: https://t.co/L4c8JN81dL— U.S. Marshals (@USMarshalsHQ) November 2, 2020
The operation saw US Marshals lead a team of more than 60 law enforcement investigators from the state. This team was joined by employees of the Virginia Department of Social Services and medical professionals and experts from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).
“I can think of no more critical or satisfying mission for a law enforcement officer, than rescuing an endangered child,” said the US Marshal Nick E. Proffitt. “This operation brought together a formidable team that was, and is, determined to come to the aid of our youth and bring to justice those among us that choose to prey on these vulnerable children.”
According to NCMEC President and CEO John F. Clark, law enforcement rescued the children from situations that placed them at a high risk for exploitation.
“Missing children are extremely vulnerable to being trafficked for sex and are at risk of further emotional and physical harm,” Clark said. “Because of this operation, 27 children have been found and are now safe.”
A Streak Of Success
“Operation Find Our Children” comes on the heels of several similar operations led by US Marshals this year. In September, “Operation Safety Net” recovered 25 missing Ohio children in a span of fewer than 2 weeks. Last week in the same state, Marshals announced the success of “Operation Autumn Hope” in rescuing 45 children, leading to 179 arrests.
“While this Virginia operation is the most recent recovery of endangered and missing children led by the US Marshals Service this year, we have also recovered more than 440 kids in Georgia, Ohio, Indiana, Louisiana and other states,” said Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen. “Because of this initiative, the recovered children are now out of harm’s way.”
According to the Marshals’ announcement, the agency has recovered more than 2,000 missing children since 2005.
“The US Marshals Service has a legendary history of finding fugitives and bringing them to justice,” said US Marshal Thomas L. Foster. “Because of this specialized skill set, finding missing children is a natural extension of the Marshal’s mission.”