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Law enforcement find 123 missing children during one-day operation in Michigan

(WBKO)
Published: Oct. 9, 2018 at 11:36 AM EDT
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Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018

DETROIT, Mich. (WRDW/WAGT) -- A new United States Marshals Service Child Recovery Unit identified and recovered 123 missing children during Operation MISafeKid.

According to a release from the U.S. Marshals Office's Detroit Missing Child Recovery Unit includes the U.S. Marshals Service Sex Offender Investigations Branch, Michigan State Police and law enforcement officers from Wayne County agencies.

They say Operation MISafeKids was a missing juvenile sweep to identify and recover missing children from the area with an emphasis on locating victims of sex trafficking.

According to the release, the one-day initiative took place September 26th throughout Wayne County.

The unit 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.

The release states out of 301 files of missing children, 123 were identified and recovered safely during the operation. All 123 children were physically located and interviewed. Which is standard protocol for the Michigan State Police, officials say.

All of the children located were interviewed about potentially being sexually victimized or used in a sex trafficking ring during their period of time that they were deemed missing.

Three cases were identified as being possible sex trafficking cases.

One homeless teen was transported back to the command post after it was discovered that he had not had anything to eat in three days. He was then debriefed and turned over to Child Protective Services for aftercare, according to the release.

Officials say this is the first time an operation of this kind has been conducted in Wayne County.

The Child Recovery Unit was requested to assist on 30 missing child cases two weeks prior to the sweep. Information was obtained by the Child Recovery Unit on two missing children in Texas and one in Minnesota, the release states.

The unit has been requested to assist on these recoveries and is actively investigating them at this time.