“Operation Not Forgotten”: US Marshals Find 39 Missing Children in GA

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Hannah Stai, News Editor

The US Marshals Service Missing Child Unit led a two-week search, dubbed “Operation Not Forgotten,” which resulted in the rescue of 26 children and the known safe location of another 13. The US Marshals Unit collaborated with the agency’s Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and state and local agencies.

“The US Marshals Service is fully committed to assisting federal, state, and local agencies with location and recovering endangered missing children, in addition to their primary fugitive apprehension mission,” US Marshals Service Director Donald Washington said in a media statement. “The message to missing children and their families is that we will never stop looking for you.”

During the operation, authorities arrested nine people and cleared 26 warrants. Multiple additional charges were filed related to sex trafficking, parental kidnapping, registered sex offender violations, drugs and weapons possession, and custodial interference.

While many children get to return safely to their homes, their lives might forever be changed, as it has been speculated that some of the rescued children were believed to have been victims of child sex trafficking, child exploitation, sexual abuse, physical abuse, and medical or mental health conditions. The children not counted for were located at the request of law enforcement to ensure their safety.

The children ranged in age from 3 to 17, and their rescues were “the most at risk and challenging recovery cases in the area,” according to Director Washington.

Every 40 seconds a child goes missing in the United States. With operations like these, we are always becoming one step closer to saving the lives of countless children.