In a press release issued by the U.S. Marshals Service, 123 children missing from Michigan were located on September 26.
The children were recovered during a “one-day operation” which aimed to locate victims of sex-trafficking in Wayne County, Michigan. This is the first time an operation of this kind has taken place in Wayne County.
The press release read:
The USMS DMCRU coordinated with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, HUD-OIG, Detroit Police Department and the Michigan State Police and investigated missing child case files prior to the operation. Participating officers were given the case files and began investigating their whereabouts by visiting last known addresses, friend’s homes and schools in hopes of finding them in a safe place.
Out of the 301 files studied, 123 of those children were found safe.
After each child was interviewed, the U.S. Marshals Services reports that three of the children found were possible sex trafficking victims. Another teen found during the operation was deemed homeless and hadn’t consumed food in roughly three days.
That teen is now in the care of Child Protective Services.
The U.S. Marshals Service then issued a message to the children still missing and their families who want nothing more than to have them home:
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 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.
According to the Polaris Project:
In 2016, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children estimated that 1 in 6 endangered runaways reported to them were likely sex trafficking victims.
And since 2007, the National Human Trafficking Hotline, operated by Polaris, has received reports of 22,191 sex trafficking cases inside the United States.
Sex trafficking is the most prevalent of the human trafficking cases.
Where exactly the 123 children were located in Wayne County remains unknown.