Ohio: U.S. Marshals Recover 45 Missing Children in October Operation

Operation Not Forgotten resulted in the rescue of 26 children, the safe location of 13 children and the arrest of nine criminal associates. The U.S. Marshals Service Missing Child Unit, in conjunction with the agency’s Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and …
Shane T. McCoy / US Marshals

The U.S. Marshals Service announced Monday that 45 missing children were recovered in Ohio in October as part of an anti-human trafficking operation called “Autumn Hope.”

WCMH reports:

During the operation, 45 missing children were recovered and 169 arrests were made by the Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force and U.S. Marshals in conjunction with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. Twenty children were also located per the request of law enforcement to ensure the child’s well-being. The U.S. Marshals office says during one of the missing child recoveries, a loaded gun was recovered. The 15-year-old male juvenile had two warrants and is suspected in multiple shootings and a homicide.

“My thanks to all personnel who have stepped up for this operation,” Peter Tobin, U.S. Marshal for the Southern District of Ohio, said in a statement. “These are the same personnel who hunt down violent fugitives every day. I’m incredibly proud of them and pleased that they were able to apply those same skills to finding missing children. I know Operation Autumn Hope has made a difference in a lot of young lives.”

This is the second successful recovery operation in Ohio in recent months.

In September, “Operation Safety Net,” led to the discovery of 35 children ages 13 to 18 in Northeast Ohio.

“These are kids that have been abused, neglected. Some involved in human trafficking. Sometimes the situations they—they go to, believe it or not, may be better than the situations they left from,” U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott said at the time.

“We’ve had some cases where the mother and or father, or both, may have been prostituting their own child,” he added.

In August, the U.S. Marshals confirmed 39 minors have been recovered in Georgia cities, Atlanta and Macon, as part of “Operation Not Forgotten.”

“When we track down fugitives, it’s a good feeling to know that we’re putting the bad guy behind bars. But that sense of accomplishment is nothing compared to finding a missing child,” Darby Kirby, Chief of the U.S. Marshals Missing Child Unit, said in a statement. “It’s hard to put into words what we feel when we rescue a missing child, but I can tell you that this operation has impacted every single one of us out here. We are working to protect them and get them the help they need.”

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