The US Marshals announced Thursday that 39 missing children were recovered in Georgia in a two-week rescue mission dubbed ‘Operation Not Forgotten’
The operation was conducted in August in Atlanta and Macon leading to the rescue of 26 children
Another 13 children were safely located
In the crackdown nine ‘criminal associates’ were arrested
They face charges including sex trafficking, parental kidnapping, custodial interference and registered sex offender violence
The US Marshals announced Thursday that 39 missing children were recovered in Georgia in a two-week effort dubbed ‘Operation Not Forgotten’.
The operation, conducted in August in Atlanta and Macon, tracked down 39 missing children across the state and led to the arrest of nine ‘criminal associates’.
The suspects face charges including sex trafficking, parental kidnapping, custodial interference and registered sex offender violence resulted from the investigation.
‘The message to missing children and their families is that we will never stop looking for you,’ Director of the Marshals Service Donald Washington said in a press release Thursday.U.S. Marshalls find 39 missing children in Georgia in two-week operation.
‘I cannot say enough about Operation Not Forgotten and the men and women behind it,’ Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr said during a press conference Thursday.
’39 – That’s how many young lives are getting a new start, and that’s how we measure success.’
USMS investigators were able to confirm each child’s location in person and assure their safety and welfare.
The intensive rescue was conducted by the US Marshals Service Missing Child Unit, the agency’s Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in conjunction with Georgia state and local agencies.
Officials said the missing children were ‘considered to be some of the most at-risk and challenging recovery cases in the area, based on indications of high-risk factors such as victimization of child sex trafficking, child exploitation, sexual abuse, physical abuse, and medical or mental health conditions.’
The US Marshalls released video and photographs showing the effort to locate and rescue the missing children in the weeks-long operation.
It shows workers flipping through binders with the images of missing children and their information and police officers in bullet vests entering homes.
One video shows an officer reassuring a rescued child in a car saying, ‘We’re going to get you something to drink’.
Another scene shows three officers comforting a rescued child and bringing her into a car.
‘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 Missing Child Unit, said.
Overall in 2019 the USMS helped recover 295 missing children based on requests for help from law enforcement.’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 Missing Child Unit, said.