Federal authorities and local law enforcement agencies have rescued eight missing children from the Indianapolis area during a five-day operation.
The children were aged 6 to 17-years-old, rescued in what’s been called “Operation Homecoming,” according to the US Marshals Service’s Southern District of Indiana.
Authorities said the children are “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, sex abuse, physical abuse, and medical or mental health conditions.”
They have been placed in the care of the Indiana Department of Child Services.
An adult was arrested on charges ranging from weapon possession, parental kidnapping, and intimidation.
This is the first missing children’s operation for the US Marshals Southern Indiana District.
Dozens of children have been rescued this summer thanks to the efforts of the hard-working men and women in law enforcement.
CBN News previously reported that 25 children ages 13 to 18 were located in Ohio last month as part of “Operation Safety Net.”
The US Marshals Service announced the rescue of 39 endangered children in Georgia and Florida under “Operation Not Forgotten.” Nine suspects were arrested on sex trafficking charges in that case.
Of those 39 victims, authorities reported 15 of them were being human- and sex-trafficked.
And “Operation Moving Target” led to the arrest of 27 men in Ohio this summer – suspects who had been engaging in sexually explicit conversations with undercover agents posing as children.
In a press release, the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley said 27 individuals were arrested as part of the operation which ran from August 24 – 27.
“As we have seen the number of Cybertips dramatically increase this year, it is clear that online predators remain a serious threat to our children,” said Prosecutor O’Malley. “Hopefully the success of yet another operation serves as a stern warning to offenders that you will be found, you will be arrested, and you will be prosecuted.”
One in six of the roughly 23,500 endangered runaways reported in 2019 were probable victims of child sex trafficking, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). The average age of child sex trafficking victims reported to the center is only 15 years old.
Child sex trafficking has been reported in all 50 states.