31 missing children rescued in Texas
WACO, Texas (KWTX) - The U.S. Marshals Service and Homeland Security Investigations rescued or located 31 children missing in the Dallas-Fort Worth-area during a month-long investigation dubbed “Operation Missing in the Metroplex,” the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas announced on Thursday.
Multiple federal agencies partnered with four Dallas area police departments, the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Missing & Unidentified Persons Unit and the Texas Department of Family & Protective Services to provide “critical intelligence” during the investigation.
The local nonprofit 4theONE provided 24-hour support and relayed numerous tips that culminated in recoveries of the over 30 children.
At least seven recoveries were of critically missing children with ties to sex trafficking. Noteworthy cases include:
- A 15-year-old Jane Doe recovered by Dallas Police at a residence in Dallas following a tip by a confidential source.
- A 17-year-old Jane Doe recovered by Dallas Police inside a vehicle in Dallas.
- A 16-year-old Jane Doe recovered by Arlington Police inside a residence in Kerens, TX following an analysis of social media.
- A 13-year-old Jane Doe recovered by Fort Worth Police inside an apartment in Fort Worth.
- A 15-year-old Jane Doe from Fort Worth recovered in an Uber in Houston during a prostitution sting.
- A 16-year-old Jane Doe recovered by Fort Worth Police at a “john’s” house in Fort Worth.
- A 16-year-old Jane Doe recovered by Dallas Police walking on Lancaster Blvd.
According to The U.S. Attorney’s Office for Northern Texas, the remaining 24 children were recovered from friends or relatives, reunited with their legal guardians, and removed from the missing children database.
“It is imperative that we continue to work with our partners to protect the most vulnerable members of our community, our children. We value our state and federal partnerships and were honored to be included as part of ‘Operation Missing in the Metroplex.’ We will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partnerships in locating missing children and reuniting them with their families. Human trafficking is a serious issue and we will not rest until our most vulnerable population are safe,” said Fort Worth Police Department Chief Neil Noakes.
The Justice Department records more than 420,000 reports of missing children each year.
If your child is missing, call local law enforcement immediately, and provide them with your child’s name, height, weight, any other descriptive identifiers (glasses, braces, etc), and the circumstances under which they went missing.
They urge you to then call the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) for additional support.
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