A massive law enforcement sweep has located123 children who had been reported missing. The one-day raid came after more than 300 children had disappeared and were feared to have become victims of a sex trafficking ring. While many of the children on the list are still missing, authorities are optimistic that information gathered in the recent sting will aid in their recovery.
The U.S. Marshals Service and Operation MISafeKid had made the recovery a top priority, and on September 26, the found 123 of the 301 missing children in Wayne County, Michigan, in the Detroit area.
“All of those children were physically located and interviewed about potentially being sexually victimized or used in a sex trafficking ring during the time they were missing,” The Daily Mail writes. “Authorities discovered three cases that were related to sex trafficking and one homeless teen who had not eaten anything in three days.”
The operation combined the efforts of the U.S. Marshals Service’s Detroit Missing Child Recovery Unit, Michigan State Police and Wayne County officers.
In the week leading up to the sweep, there had been more than 30 missing child reports made in the area.
The reports of the success of the raid are focused on the results, but remain understandably vague. The information may be used as evidence in upcoming prosecutions. Yet the early details are still encouraging.
In the run up to the sweep, authorities located nine missing children. During the raid, the rest more were found. They also “received information on two missing children in Texas and one in Minnesota.”
“The Eastern District of Michigan is fully committed to assisting state and local agencies with locating and recovering missing children and the prevention of their falling victim to sex trafficking,” the U.S. Marshals Service said.
“The Detroit Missing Child Recovery Unit is tasked with investigating and recovering missing children upon request by a law enforcement agency currently attempting to locate a missing child.”
“The message to the missing children and their families that we wish to convey is that we will never stop looking for you.”
While some of these kids were runaways, others were not. The scope of the problem for law enforcement can’t be understated, and they’re putting their energies into finding help for these kids, no matter what their circumstances are.