U.S. Marshals Service Locates 39 Missing Children In Georgia

by Madison Vanderberg
Originally Published: 
Shane T. McCoy / US Marshals

39 missing children in Georgia recently found by U.S. Marshals Service

A relatively new program out of the U.S. Marshals Service has announced that they recently located 39 missing children in Georgia. Sadly, child and human trafficking continue to plague the world, the latest statistic is that in the U.S. around 500,000 children went missing last year, but this latest news is a heartening trend we hope to see more of.

The U.S. Marshals Service Missing Child Unit led the two-week search, dubbed “Operation Not Forgotten,” in collaboration with local and state agencies and successfully found 26 missing children and successfully located 13 others in safe locations. U.S. Marshals Service broke the news on Thursday, saying this is a “relatively new mission for the U.S. Marshals” but added that “the future should see many similar operations throughout the United States as the Missing Child Unit ramps up operations using the man hunting skills, in which the Marshals specialize, to locate and rescue missing minors.”

“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 in a statement. “It’s hard to put into words what we feel when we rescue a missing child, but I can tell you that this operation has impacted every single one of us out here. We are working to protect them and get them the help they need.”

A total of nine individuals were arrested, and according to the U.S. Marshalls Service, some of these missing children were victims of child sex trafficking, child exploitation, sexual and physical abuse. “Other children were located at the request of law enforcement to ensure their wellbeing,” officials added while stating that the children were found to be safe after all.

Shane T. McCoy / US Marshals

Shane T. McCoy/US Marshals

Since the U.S. Marshalls Service got involved with locating missing children, they have contributed to the recovery of a missing child in 75 percent of cases received. In 2019 they have helped recover 295 missing children. “Additionally, of the missing children recovered, 66 percent were recovered within seven days of the USMS assisting with the case.”

Child trafficking is a very real problem — and should not be conflated with the bizarre QAnon conspiracies on the subject — and we’re so happy to see stories like this one and see missing children reunited with their families. As Donald Washington, Director of the Marshals Service stated, “the message to missing children and their families is that we will never stop looking for you.”

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