WASHINGTON (WAVY) – A five-day effort led by deputy U.S. Marshals in the Eastern and Western Districts of Virginia helped locate 27 children reported as missing.
A news release from the Justice Department Friday said police departments in several Hampton Roads cities provided significant assistance with “Operation Find Our Children.” Hampton P.D., Norfolk, P.D., Portsmouth P.D. and the Virginia Beach P.D. are listed. 10 On Your Side has reached out to those departments for additional information about their involvement.
The statewide effort resulted in the recovery of 27 missing children. The U.S. Marshals Service discovered an additional six children previously reported as missing, who were found in the custody of their legal guardian.
The U.S. Marshals Service said that while most of the recoveries occurred in “larger population centers,” seven were in Roanoke and Abingdon, in the Western District.
“While this Virginia operation is the most recent recovery of endangered and missing children led by the U.S. Marshals Service this year, we have also recovered more than 440 kids in Georgia, Ohio, Indiana, Louisiana and other states. Because of this initiative, the recovered children are now out of harm’s way,” said Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen.
U.S. Attorney G. Zachary Terwilliger for the Eastern District of Virginia applauded the effort, tweeting, “What a tremendous testament to the power of cooperation and the mission of federal, state, and local law enforcement.”
“I can think of no more critical or satisfying mission for a law enforcement officer, than rescuing an endangered child,” said Nick E. Proffitt, U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of Virginia.
The primary team in Operation Find Our Children consisted of Deputy U.S. Marshals from the two federal judicial districts, along with special agents, police officers and detectives from numerous federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and more than 60 law enforcement investigators. They were joined by more than 50 employees from the Virginia Department of Social Services and experts from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).
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