200 ‘critically missing’ children recovered in massive police operation

The U.S. Marshals Service (USMS), in collaboration with various federal, state, and local agencies across seven federal judicial districts, recently concluded a highly impactful national effort aimed at rescuing missing children in peril. The mission, named Operation We Will Find You 2, spanned from May 20 to June 24, marking the second such nationwide initiative to date.

During the intense six-week period, the coalition successfully tracked down numerous endangered runaways and children abducted by noncustodial individuals.

In just six weeks the operation successfully recovered 200 children. (Getty Stock Image)

Michelle DeLaune, President and CEO of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, lauded the operation’s effectiveness and swift action. “Operation We Will Find You is a shining example of the results we can achieve when we unite in our mission to find missing children. In just six weeks, the operation successfully recovered 200 children,” DeLaune stated.

DeLaune further expressed gratitude for the safe recovery of many vulnerable children. “We are grateful that vulnerable children have been recovered as part of this operation, and we commend the U.S. Marshals Service and all the agencies involved for their commitment to protect youth and ensure these children are not forgotten. Behind every statistic, there is a child who deserves to grow up safe from harm.”

The operation’s statistics are noteworthy: 123 children were extracted from perilous situations, while an additional 77 were found in safe environments, confirmed by law enforcement or child welfare organizations. Of the total 200 children located, 173 were endangered runaways, 25 were categorized as otherwise missing, one was involved in a family abduction, and one in a non-family abduction.

The youngest among the rescued was only five months old. Remarkably, most children were found in their initial city of disappearance, although 14 were discovered in different cities.

The President of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children emphasized the critical importance of inter-agency cooperation.

The President for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children reiterated how important it was for different organizations to work together. (Getty Stock Image)

Furthermore, 57 percent of these children were found within just seven days of the USMS’s involvement in their cases.

U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland offered his commendations to the teams involved for their relentless pursuit and success in bringing the children to safety. “There are no words to describe the terror felt by missing children, their families, and their communities. 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,” said Garland.