The United States Marshals Service (USMS), in collaboration with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), and state and local agencies in 16 federal judicial districts and 15 geographical locations across the country, has successfully concluded a 10-week national operation. The operation, known as Operation We Will Find You, focused on areas with high clusters of critically missing children, making it the first nationwide missing child operation of its kind.
Through Operation We Will Find You, 225 endangered missing children, including runaways and those abducted by non-custodial persons, were recovered or safely located. Of these, 169 children were recovered, and 56 were located safely. The U.S. Marshals Service referred 28 cases to law enforcement agencies for further investigation of crimes such as drugs and weapons, sex trafficking, and sex offender violations. Law enforcement agencies reported allegations of trafficking in over 40 cases that the U.S. Marshals Service assisted with. Notably, 86% of closed cases involved endangered runaways, nearly 9% were family abductions, and 5% were otherwise missing. The youngest child recovered was a mere six months old.
Overall, Operation We Will Find You was executed professionally, and the results reflect the dedication and expertise of
As part of the operation, a total of 52 missing children were located and recovered. 42 of these children were found outside the city where they originally went missing, while the remaining 10 were found in Mexico. Additionally, the U.S. Marshals Service apprehended a couple who were among the Top 15 Most Wanted and had fled to Mexico from Washington state with their five children, whom they had taken into hiding. The Western District of Texas in the San Antonio Division played a critical role in the successful recovery and location of 30 of these children, including three who were located outside of the United States.
“Operation We Will Find You is a partnership of law enforcement agencies, working together in the communities they serve to recover the most vulnerable children. This is a partnership that positively shapes outcomes, demonstrating value and gaining the public’s trust”, said Susan Pamerleau, U.S. Marshal for the Western District of Texas.