ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WAVY) – The U.S. Marshals’ Operation We Will Find You did what it set out to accomplish. The 10-week operation resulted in locating 225 endangered missing children, including 14 from Eastern Virginia.
This was the first nationwide missing child operation focused on areas across the country with high clusters of critically missing children.
Most of the cases involved endangered runaways, and children abducted by non-custodial persons. The youngest child recovered was only six months old.
On March 2, one day into the operation, U.S. Marshals located a 15-year-old girl missing from Loudoun, Virginia. She was found in a 30-year-old man’s bedroom. That man was arrested.
Another Virginia case the agency highlighted happened on April 13. Participating agencies entered a home in Woodbridge and located two missing juveniles. A search of the residence produced several weapons, approximately 25 Percocets, one pound of marijuana and cash. A person found hiding in the residence was arrested.
The national operation located 42 children outside the city where they went missing and 10 children were found in Mexico. U.S. Marshals also arrested a Top 15 Most Wanted couple who fled from Mexico and went into hiding in Washington state with their five children.
“Operation We Will Find You is a great example of how the U.S. Marshals Service continues to prioritize child protection,” said National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) President & CEO Michelle DeLaune. “NCMEC is proud of our long-standing partnership with the USMS and commends them and the participating state and local agencies who helped recover the 225 endangered missing children.”
The operation was conducted from the following locations: eastern Virginia; Washington D.C.; Maryland; Massachusetts; South Carolina; New Orleans; San Antonio; Detroit; Yakima, Washington; Orlando, Florida; Los Angeles; northern Ohio; Guam; Puerto Rico; and the U.S. Virgin Islands.