More than 120 missing children have been found in just one day during a wide-scale law enforcement operation in Michigan.
Authorities located 123 children in the Wayne County area, which includes Detroit, as part of the one-day sweep last month.
The U.S. Marshals Service said Operation MISafeKid placed an emphasis on locating missing children who were victims of sex trafficking.
The one-day initiative, which took place on September 26, recovered 123 of the 301 children that had been reported missing in the area following weeks of investigations.
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.
Authorities discovered three cases that were related to sex trafficking and one homeless teen who had not eaten anything in three days.
The children were turned over to Child Protective Services for aftercare.
The operation involved multiple law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Marshals Service’s Detroit Missing Child Recovery Unit, Michigan State Police and Wayne County officers.
Participating officers started investing the missing child case files prior to the operation.
They visited last known addresses, friend’s homes, and schools in the hope of finding the children in a safe place.
The U.S. Marshals Service said they had been requested to assist on 30 missing child cases in the two weeks prior to the sweep.
Marshals located and recovered nine children prior to the sweep and another seven during the operation.
They also received information on two missing children in Texas and one in Minnesota, which they are still actively investigating.
The U.S. Marshals Service also said Michigan State Police have asked for assistance with 14 other cases.
‘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.’
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